Churchill Downs Incorporated is the parent company of Churchill Downs. The company has evolved from one racetrack in Louisville, Kentucky, to a multi US-state, publicly traded company with racetracks, casinos and the United States' leading online wagering company among its portfolio of businesses.
== History ==
Churchill Downs Incorporated began with the opening of one legendary racetrack in Louisville, Kentucky, in 1875. While traveling in England and France in 1872–1873, 26-year-old Meriwether Lewis Clark devised the idea of a Louisville Jockey Club for conducting race meets. Clark toured and visited with a number of notable racing leaders, including England's Admiral Rous and France's Vicomte Darn, vice president of the French Jockey Club.Upon his return from Europe, Clark began development of his racetrack, which would serve to showcase the Kentucky breeding industry. The track would eventually become known as Churchill Downs.
The track formally opened on May 17, 1875, with four races scheduled including the day's featured race, the Kentucky Derby.
Throughout the early 1900s, Churchill Downs joined with other tracks to create the Kentucky Jockey Club. With five tracks, the Club decided to dissolve in December 1927, with the purpose of re-organizing. In January 1928, the American Turf Association served as the new holding company for Churchill Downs and six other tracks.
From 1929 through 1942, the holding company started to reduce the number of tracks. By 1937, there were only three tracks left. In January 1937, Churchill Downs joined with Latonia in Northern Kentucky to create Churchill Downs-Latonia Incorporated. In 1942, Churchill Downs separated from Latonia and officially changed its name to Churchill Downs Incorporated.
After simulcasting became commonplace in the early 1990s, the racetrack decided to expand its holdings and move into the simulcasting industry. In 1991, Churchill Downs bought the struggling Louisville Downs harness track, which was closed and converted to a satellite wagering and training facility.
In 1994, Churchill Downs began to expand its holdings, with plans to partner with a new racetrack in Indiana. The plan resulted in the purchase of Hoosier Park from businessman Louis Carlo.
In 1998, CDI purchased Ellis Park Racecourse in Henderson, Kentucky. In 1999, the company acquired Calder Race Course and Hollywood Park Racetrack from Pinnacle Entertainment In 2000, CDI merged with Arlington Park and the eight OTB's owned by Arlington. In 2004, Churchill Downs Incorporated finalized the purchase of Fair Grounds Race Course.
In April 2002, Churchill Downs Incorporated established the Green Pastures Program in partnership with the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation, a leading American racehorse rescue and adoption organization.
In 2005, Hollywood Park was sold to Bay Meadows Land Company for $257.5 million, and Ellis Park was sold to businessman Ron Geary in September 2006. In December 2006, Churchill Downs Inc. sold its remaining interest in Hoosier Park to Centaur Inc. In the fall of 2007, Fair Grounds reopened to include a gaming facility adjacent to the track grandstand. In January 2010, Churchill Downs added the casino venue to Calder Race Course.
On May 2, 2007, CDI launched its advance deposit wagering service, TwinSpires (www.twinspires.com). TwinSpires.com is the official advance-deposit wagering service for Churchill Downs Incorporated and its family of racetracks, as well for the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks. TwinSpires.com offers wagering on races from the country's most popular racetracks. TwinSpires.com includes the assets of Youbet.com, which Churchill Downs Incorporated acquired in June 2010.
The company acquired Harlow's Casino Resort in Greenville, Mississippi, in December 2010 for $138 million. In October 2012, the company acquired the Riverwalk Casino and Hotel in Vicksburg, Mississippi for $141 million.In December 2012, Churchill Downs partnered with Delaware North to buy Lebanon Raceway in Lebanon, Ohio for $60 million. Ohio had recently authorized slot machines at racetracks, which the companies took advantage of by transferring the racing license to a new $215-million facility built between Cincinnati and Dayton. The new racino, Miami Valley Gaming, opened in December 2013.In July 2013, Churchill Downs bought the Oxford Casino in Oxford, Maine for $160 million.In May 2014, CDI and Saratoga Casino Holdings announced a partnership to bid for the Capital Region's casino license, proposing a $300-million destination resort casino in East Greenbush, New York. In October 2014, Churchill agreed to purchase a 25 percent interest in Saratoga, and signed on to manage Saratoga Casino and Raceway, Saratoga Casino Black Hawk, and the proposed Capital View Casino & Resort. The casino proposal was rejected, however, in favor of Rivers Casino.In December 2014, the company acquired Big Fish Games, a developer of casual games, in a deal valued at up to $885 million. It then sold Big Fish Games in 2018 to Aristocrat Leisure for $990 million.The company partnered with Saratoga to purchase Ocean Downs, a harness racing track and casino in Maryland, in January 2017. Churchill Downs took full ownership of Ocean Downs in September 2018, swapping its 25 percent stake in Saratoga for Saratoga's 50 percent stake in the track.In April 2017, the company purchased advance-deposit wagering website BetAmerica.In February 2018, Churchill Downs agreed to purchase two casinos (Presque Isle Downs in Pennsylvania and Lady Luck Casino Vicksburg in Mississippi) from Eldorado Resorts for a total of $230 million. The purchase of the Lady Luck was later canceled because of antitrust concerns, and Churchill Downs instead agreed to buy the operations of Lady Luck Casino Nemacolin in Pennsylvania for $100,000. The purchases were completed in early 2019.In September 2018, the company opened Derby City Gaming, a $65-million historical racing parlor, at the site of Louisville Downs.In March 2019, Churchill Downs bought a 62 percent share in Rivers Casino Des Plaines, a few miles away from Arlington Park, from Neil Bluhm and his partners for $401 million. Later that year, Churchill purchased Turfway Park in Northern Kentucky for $46 million, and announced the construction of a $100-million historical racing parlor at the property.
== Economics and stock ==
Churchill Downs Incorporated is listed on the NASDAQ as CHDN. The company is the most profitable track owner in the horse racing industry.
== Holdings ==
Churchill Downs Incorporated owns the following racetrack and casino properties:
Calder Casino and Race Course
Derby City Gaming (formerly Louisville Downs)
Fair Grounds Race Course and Slots
Harlow's Casino Resort
Lady Luck Casino Nemacolin
Miami Valley Gaming (50% stake)
Presque Isle Downs
Rivers Casino (62% stake)
Riverwalk Casino Hotel
Oak Grove Racing, Gaming & Hotel
Newport Racing & GamingThe company's other business holdings include:
== References ==