NEWPORT, Ky. — Louisville-based Churchill Downs will build a $38.4 million gaming facility in the Newport Plaza Shopping Center, City Manager Tom Fromme said on Monday.
Fromme said The Turfway Extension, slated to open in late 2020, will create 70 full-time jobs and attract visitors from across the region.
“We are grateful that Churchill Downs – one of the most revered names in the horse racing and gaming industries – will develop an attraction that will create jobs and investment and bring visitors and excitement to the city,” Fromme said. “There’s really no other way to put it – this is big.”
The facility will feature a 17,000-square-foot gaming floor with 500 Historical Racing Machines, or HRMs, which use the outcomes of past horse races to provide an experience like slot machines.
There will also be a horse racing simulcast area with a separate VIP room and a bar.
Churchill Downs CEO Bill Carstanjen said the Newport facility will help attract better horses, spur interest in pari-mutuel wagering in Kentucky and increase the value of horses as they transition into breeding.
“That’s all good for the Kentucky horse industry, as well as for the Commonwealth of Kentucky,” Carstanjen said.
Churchill Downs purchased Turfway Park in Florence last year and had been seeking additional space in Northern Kentucky for a second gaming facility.