Kentucky Derby Owner Acquires Colonial Downs, Rosie’s Gaming Emporiums

Churchill Downs Incorporated (CDI), the owner of the Kentucky Derby, acquired the Colonial Downs horse racing venue and Rosie’s Gaming Emporiums as part of a $2.75 billion purchase of most of Peninsula Pacific Entertainment, LLC (P2E).

With most of Virginia’s casinos not yet open, the P2E properties are one of the top options for gambling in Virginia. There are six Rosie’s locations in Virginia, with about 2,700 historical horse racing machines (HRM) that provide a slots-like game. As part of the purchase finalized at the beginning of November, CDI acquired rights to open two more HRM facilities: one in Dumfries, and one in Emporia, both scheduled to open in 2023. Virginia law potentially allows for three additional HRM locations.

In September, Colonial Downs announced that a record $74.9 million was bet during its 26-day race meet during the 2022 season, with $6.5 million bet on Virginia Derby Day. Colonial Downs highlighted praise from Governor Glenn Youngkin at the Derby.

Colonial is hugely important to Virginia. It’s agriculture, it’s jobs, it’s tourism,” Youngkin told Horse Racing Nation.

Additionally, CDI acquired the rights to continue P2E’s partnership with Urban One, which hopes to build a $565 million casino in Richmond.

CDI acquired P2E properties in two other states: a 96,000-square-foot casino in New York, and a 45,000-square-foot Hard Rock casino in Iowa.

“Today marks a significant moment in the evolution of Churchill Downs Incorporated,” CDI Chief Executive Officer Bill Carstanjen said in a press release. “This transaction meaningfully expands our geographic footprint to Iowa, New York and Virginia, introducing a very unique set of assets and attractive organic growth opportunities to our company. We are excited to welcome the teams from each of these well-established properties into Churchill Downs Incorporated.”

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Eric Burk is a reporter at The Virginia Star and The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Rosie’s Gaming Emporium” by Rosie’s Gaming Emporium.


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