Churchill Downs Incorporated (CDI) announced this week that they will take over the management at Lady Luck Casino Nemacolin in Farmington.
They are also in the process of finalizing their acquisition of Presque Isle Downs and Casino in Erie. These deals give CDI a piece of the Pennsylvania casino market.
CDI had already tried to buy Presque Isle Downs and Lady Luck Casino Vicksburg in Mississippi but the Vicksburg deal fell through.
There were reports that CDI was eager to acquire these properties and position itself to enter the sports betting market. CDI were in negotiations with Eldorado Resorts, the parent company for these casinos but their talks did not come to fruition due to concerns expressed by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
The Presque Isle Deal
CDI remained positive and continued to work with Eldorado Resorts. The two companies were finally able to reach an agreement after Eldorado Resorts delivered a revised offer that gave CDI managerial rights to another Lady Luck establishment.
The Presque deal hinged on CDI acquiring Lady Luck Nemacolin along with terminating the required waiting period which was granted by the FTC. Eldorado CEO Gary Carano said that he was pleased to move forward on the deal with CDI and that Eldorado Resorts will see significant tax benefits through the transfer of Lady Luck Nemacolin’s management.
CDI confirmed via its statement on Monday that the Presque Isle and Lady Luck Nemacolin deals should be complete by the end of 2018. The deals are still contingent on the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board granting gaming licenses to Churchill Downs Incorporated. CDI will also need the Pennsylvania State Horse Racing Commission to issue them a horse racing license.
When these deals are closed, CDI will then have casino interests in seven states. While Eldorado will still own Lady Luck Nemacolin, the operation will be leased out to CDI. During the negotiations to take over Presque Isle and Lady Luck Vicksburg, Churchill Downs Incorporated’s CEO Bill Carstanjen admitted that online gambling is one of the biggest factors in their aggressive expansion plans.
Carstanjen previously stated that acquiring Presque Isle will give CDI a foothold in the Keystone State where legislation has been passed to allow online gambling. Assuming managerial control of Lady Luck Nemacolin makes their presence even stronger when you take their future betting plans into consideration.