Richmond casino could be operated by Kentucky Derby parent company

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) – The company behind the Kentucky Derby is trying to take over horse racing in New Kent County and the Rosie’s Gambling Emporiums, and the man behind the multi-billion dollar deal has said he could sustain a second shot to roll the dice for the Richmond casino.

“I think it’s a great opportunity for Richmond, I think it’s great for the state,” Churchill Downs CEO Bill Carstanjen said in an interview with 8News on Wednesday.

Churchill Downs could be the new Urban ONE casino operator, following their massive $2.5 billion takeover deal with parent company 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 rejected the project.

The town hall wants another chance and if voters say yes this time, Churchill Downs could step in as operator.

“It would be a great opportunity to do so. It’s in the hands of the powers that be and the state how it’s going to work, and whether it’s going to work…” “…or how soon it will work,” Carstanjen said.

Richmond may have to take a break from another casino referendum as state senators approved a budget amendment that would force the river town to wait for another vote until a study in Petersburg be carried out to see to what extent it could benefit.

When asked if Churchill Downs would also support a Petersburg casino, Carstanjen said: “It’s hard to talk about hypotheses, it’s one hypothesis, which could be a whole series of other hypotheses.”

Several regulations must be approved by the state before the agreement to acquire Churchill Downs, PPE is finalized.

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