Owner of the Arlington Park Racetrack has announced a bid to become majority stakeholder in the nearby gambling mecca, River Casino in Des Plaines.
Churchill Downs Inc. Said it will acquire Illinois most lucrative casino for up to $500 million. Churchill Downs operates several casinos and racetracks in the country, including its namesake in Louisville, home of the Kentucky Derby.
Rivers Casino generates by far the most revenue and traffic of an Illinois Casino. It’s adjusted gross reciepts for September alone topped $37 million, while its closest competitor, the Grand Victoria in Elgin tailed around $14 million according to Illinois gaming board figures.
Casinos across the board are feeling the effect of new competition with video gambling, which has proliferated in Illinois in recent years.
Arlington Heights Mayor Thomas Hayes said, he heard about the deal on Friday.
“I am sure it helps. I don’t see any reason why they would do it unless it would help Arlington Racetrack,” he said. “They have been struggling for a number of years to compete with other gambling venues, so they have been trying to level the playing field in a number ways.”
“The Horse racing industry statewide, and really nationwide, has been struggling with the proliferation of gambling. Arlington Park has “been able to stay afloat and we appreciate that and will do all that we can to help them.”