Churchill Downs’ proposed deal for Rivers Casino edges closer

By Nathan Joyes

Churchill Downs‘ proposed deal that would see it become the majority owner in Rivers Casino in Des Plaine has taken a step closer to completion.

Churchill Downs is expected to pay around $326m in order to acquire 50.1% of its parent company, Midwest Gaming Holdings, and the Illinois Gaming Board could make a decision on the merger this week.

The company currently operates four racetracks, including Churchill Downs, Arlington International, Fair Grounds in New Orleans and Calder Race Course in Florida.

Midwest Gaming attorney Edward Winkofsky hopes the Illinois Gaming Board votes in favour of the potential agreement at a meeting on Friday 1 March.

Rivers Casino has 983 slot machines and 58 table games all across a single-level gambling floor, as well as seven dining and entertainment options.

Greg Carlin, CEO of Midwest Gaming, said: “We are thrilled to have Churchill Downs become our partner in Des Plaines, because they share our vision for the future of Rivers Casino and our commitment to our team members, community and guests.

"They have a tremendous record of success and innovation. With their representation on our Board of Managers, we're confident Rivers will remain one of the most successful casino destinations in North America."

Meanwhile, Gamco Investors recently announced it has reduced its total shares in Churchill Downs by 0.7% in Q4.

The firm currently owns 0.28% of Churchill Downs’ $28,103,000 market cap, after selling 846 shares during this period.


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