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Churchill Downs Committed to Richmond Casino Opportunity


Posted on: April 27, 2023, 03:08h. 

Final up to date on: April 28, 2023, 11:57h.

In February 2022, Churchill Downs Inc. agreed to buy most of Peninsula Pacific Leisure’s (P2E) casinos and resort property. The practically $2.5 billion acquisition additionally delivered the Kentucky-based on line casino and horse racetrack group the potential alternative to assemble a brand new, from-the-ground-up on line casino resort within the Virginia capital of Richmond.

Churchill Downs Richmond casino Virginia
Churchill Downs Inc. CEO Invoice Carstanjen readies to ring the closing invoice on the Nasdaq trade in New York Metropolis on April 26, 2016. Carstanjen stated this week that Churchill Downs is interested by shifting ahead with a brand new on line casino resort in Virginia’s Richmond capital. (Picture: Getty)

Throughout Churchill’s first-quarter name Thursday morning, CEO Invoice Carstanjen revealed that the corporate’s earnings simply outpaced analyst expectations. Earnings per share had been $1.96, beating the consensus projection by 21 cents.

The monetary disclosure, paired with Churchill planning to separate its inventory subsequent month, despatched shares skyrocketing on Thursday. Churchill shares had been up about 14%, or $35 per share, to $287 in afternoon buying and selling.

Corporations usually break up their inventory with a view to make it extra approachable to a broader sector of particular person buyers. The transfer is elevating curiosity within the firm that’s greatest recognized for proudly owning its storied namesake racetrack, Churchill Downs, dwelling of subsequent weekend’s Kentucky Derby.

Richmond Venture

P2E, when it was acquired by Churchill Downs, was partnered with Black-focused media conglomerate City One on a greater than $500 million on line casino mission in Virginia’s capital metropolis. Richmond was one in all 5 cities within the commonwealth that certified by way of 2020 laws to mull a gaming improvement with a view to present an financial spark.

Throughout the 2021 election, Richmonders narrowly rejected the City One and P2E presentation, which beat out a number of different on line casino pitches by way of a aggressive bidding course of performed by the Richmond Metropolis Council’s On line casino Analysis Panel. The City One/P2E mission was referred to as ONE On line casino + Resort and would have been constructed adjoining to the Philip Morris tobacco plant south of town alongside Interstate 95.

Native leaders hope to reask voters this fall a couple of on line casino by way of one other referendum. The pondering amongst metropolis authorities officers is {that a} extra concrete message concerning the financial advantages such a resort would convey to the capital metro will lead to a special end result.

Talking with analysts and buyers, Carstanjen stated it’s the corporate’s hope the on line casino query goes earlier than voters this November. Legislative efforts from state lawmakers who don’t need a on line casino in Richmond, or who’re making an attempt to relocate town’s gaming license south to close by Petersburg, had been unsuccessful through the state’s 2023 legislative session.

We’re working by way of the required approvals to conduct a referendum this fall to acquire the authorization essential to proceed with the development of this mission, which would come with a on line casino, lodge, and occasions middle,” Carstanjen stated.

The Churchill boss added that “all the things goes properly” in relation to the referendum. The purpose is to carry a profitable on line casino referendum this fall and start development subsequent 12 months.

Divisive Subject

Richmond’s 2021 gaming referendum was defeated 51%-49%, with town’s extra prosperous neighborhoods north of the James River extra against the on line casino query. Some residents additionally questioned why City One, a media firm with no expertise within the gaming or hospitality industries, managed to win out over extra recognizable gaming operators akin to Bally’s, The Cordish Corporations, and Golden Nugget.

City One sought to calm such issues by bringing on P2E, an organization with an extended monitor document in gaming. Regardless of its operational historical past in Louisiana and Iowa, P2E didn’t have a lot model recognition in Virginia.

Churchill Downs is a special story, as the corporate is a well-recognized identify due to its Kentucky Derby roots. Will Richmonders be extra inclined to help ONE On line casino + Resort now that Churchill is concerned? A referendum in November might present that reply.


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