Del Lago Resort & Casino Among Assets Acquired by Churchill Downs in $2.5B Deal

Del Lago Resort & Casino Among Assets Acquired by Churchill Downs in $2.5B Deal
By Lou Monaco

Churchill Downs (CDI) completed its own trifecta Tuesday, one that will have an impact on New York sports betting.

The company announced a purchase agreement to acquire all assets of Peninsula Pacific Entertainment (P2E) for $2.485 billion. That includes all of the company’s assets in New York and Virginia plus the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Sioux City, Iowa.

Pending state regulatory approvals, the deal is expected to close by the end of this year.

“This unique set of assets expands our geographic footprint and provides additional scale,” Bill Carstanjen, the chief executive officer of CDI, said in a news release. “P2E has done an exceptional job developing and managing this collection of assets, which we are very excited to acquire and plan to strategically grow in the years ahead.”

CDI is the parent company of Churchill Downs, the famed racetrack and home of the Kentucky Derby, in Louisville, Kentucky.

DEL LAGO IS KEY ASSET IN NEW YORK


In New York, the featured property is the del Lago Resort & Casino in Waterloo. Located 43 minutes west of Syracuse, it is one of four retail casinos in New York, along with Rivers Casino in Schenectady, Resorts World Casino in Monticello and Tioga Downs in Nichols. Those four casinos were the only legal sites for New York sports betting until mobile wagering went live on Jan. 8.

The 96,000-square-foot del Lago Resort is home for a 6,000 square foot DraftKings NY retail sportsbook. It also has about 1,700 slot machines, 80 table games, a 205-room hotel, nine restaurants/bar areas, a 2,400-seat entertainment venue, and a 7,200-square-foot outdoor event venue.

In the January sports betting figures released by the NYSGC, del Lago reported a net revenue of $7.9 million and a sports handle revenue of $4.46 million, its lowest amount since last August. It would stand to reason that could be because of the dawn of mobile sports wagering early last month.

EmpireStakes.com has updates on the best New York sports betting promo codes.

ACQUISITIONS OUTSIDE NEW YORK


In Virginia, CDI also will add to its thoroughbred racetrack inventory by acquiring Colonial Downs in New Kent, as well as six “Rosie’s Gaming Emporium” historical horse racing facilities in Collinsville, Dumfries, Hampton, New Kent, Richmond and Vinton.

Combined, those facilities have approximately 2,700 historical racing machines (HRMs). That will expand CDI’s portfolio of live and historical racing entertainment venues.

Virginia law allows the CDI opportunity to develop up to five additional historical racing entertainment venues in Virginia. It also will acquire the rights to build the “Dumfries Project,” a large gaming resort in Northern Virginia.

In addition, CDI has also acquired Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Sioux City, Iowa. According to the release, the 45,000-square foot casino has 639 slot machines, 20 table games, a 54-room hotel, two live entertainment venues, a 100-piece music memorabilia collection and a Hard Rock-branded sportsbook.

The deal must be approved by the New York State Gaming Commission, the Virginia Racing Commission and the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission. According to the release, it is expected to close by the end of 2022.

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Contributors

Lou Monaco had been East Coast Scene columnist for Gaming Today in Las Vegas since June 2019, covering the East Coast sportsbook scene with emphasis on NJ and PA. He also currently is a part-time writer for the high school sports department for NJ Advanced Media (NJ.com) in Iselin, NJ. Lou has over 30 years sports experience with previous stints at ESPN SportsTicker, Daily Racing Form and Oddschecker.

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