RICHMOND, Va (WRIC) — The company behind the Kentucky Derby is trying to take over horse racing in New Kent County and Rosie’s gaming emporiums, and the man behind the multi-billion dollar deal said he can support a second shot to roll the dice for Richmond casino.
“I think it’s a great opportunity for Richmond, I think it’s great for the state,” said Churchill Downs CEO Bill Carstanjen in an interview with 8News Wednesday.
Churchill Downs could be the new Urban ONE casino operator, after their whopping $2.5 billion acquisition deal with the parent company of Colonial Downs in New Kent, and Rosie’s gaming emporiums–Peninsula Pacific Entertainment.
PPE was supposed to operate the Urban ONE casino in Richmond, but voters denied the project.
City Hall wants another chance and if voters say yes this time, Churchill Downs could step in as operator.
“It’d be a great opportunity to do so. It’s in the hands of the powers that be and the state to see how that’s going to work, and if it’s going to work…” “…or how soon it will work,” Carstanjen said.
Richmond may potentially have to hit pause on another casino referendum because state senators have approved a budget amendment that would require the river city to wait for another vote until a study in Petersburg is done to see how much they could benefit from one.
When asked if Churchill Downs would also support a Petersburg casino, Carstanjen said, “It’s tough to talk about hypotheticals, that’s one hypothetical, that could be a whole series of other hypotheticals.“
Several regulations must be approved by the state before the Churchill Downs, PPE acquisition deal is finalized.