Churchill Downs reopens Derby City Gaming and seals deal to purchase HRMs from IGT

Churchill Downs has reopened one of its US venues and inked a major deal with IGT.

Churchill Downs Incorporated (CDI) and has reopened its Derby City Gaming venue in Louisville, Kentucky, and sealed a deal to purchase 1,250 historical racing machines (HRMs) from International Game Technology (IGT).

This news comes as several casino operators across the US have begun the process of reopening their gambling facilities.

Reopening Derby City Gaming

CDI’s Derby City Gaming will operate in line with the operator’s new ‘CDI 360 Degree Approach to Safety.” This approach places an emphasis on protecting customers and staff during the coronavirus pandemic.

The new safety measures will include the frequent cleaning and sanitizing of all high-touch surfaces on the premises. In addition to cleaning, guests and staff will be subject to mandatory temperature checks upon entering the venue.

Hand sanitizer dispensers will also be placed throughout CDI venues and staff will be provided with personal protective equipment. Social distancing will also be implemented at all of CDI’s venues.

CDI chief executive Bill Carstanjen said: “We are pleased to receive approval from the Governor of Kentucky to get our team members back to work and to welcome our guests back to Derby City Gaming using national best practices and in compliance with all state and local requirements.

“We look forward to, once again, contributing to the state and local economy because we know a strong horse racing industry means a strong Kentucky.”

IGT HRM deal

As well as reopening its venue in Kentucky, CDI has inked an agreement to acquire 1,250 HRMs from IGT.

The new machines will operate on Ainsworth Game Technology’s proprietary HRM system, which was developed in partnership with the operator.

HRMs are approved by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission and use the results of previously run, live horse races to generate player outcomes.

CDI will use the purchased HRMs at its Kentucky facilities including, Derby City Gaming in Louisville, Oak Grove Racing, Gaming & Hotel in Oak Grove when it opens in September 2020, Newport Racing & Gaming in Newport when it opens in early fourth quarter 2020 and future facilities.

CDI senior vice president of gaming operations Austin Miller said: “CDI is excited to introduce IGT’s HRMs with their top-rated themes to our venues and players. IGT’s vast content library and reputation for delivering world-class products aligns with our commitment to delivering premier gaming and entertainment experiences to our guests.”

More casinos reopen

Elsewhere in the US, several commercial and tribal gambling establishments have began the process of reopening following their temporary closure due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Century Casinos has reopened its Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack and Resort in the state of West Virginia. Century also reopened two of its casinos in Missouri as well as restaurant and off-track betting operations in Alberta, Canada.

In Nevada, MGM Resorts and Caesars Entertainment were among some of the operators in the state to reopen their casino properties last week. MGM also reopened its casinos in Mississippi towards the end of May.

Twin River Holdings said it aimed to reopen at least 90% of its US casino venues by 8 June. So far, Twin River has reopened venues in Delaware, Rhode Island, and Mississippi.

Eldorado Resorts also announced that has reopened three of its casinos in Missouri and another two in the state of Iowa.

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