A rendering of Churchill Downs’ planned $60 million electronic gambling facility. Courtesy of Churchill Downs

Churchill Downs Inc. plans to spend $60 million to create an 85,000-square-foot electronic gambling facility east of the airport.

CDI said the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission on Tuesday afternoon had given conditional approval to the company’s request to offer “exotic wagering on historical racing.”

CDI said the state-of-the-art structure, at 4520 Poplar Level Road, the location of the company’s former Trackside training center, will be staffed by 200 new full- and part-time employees in areas ranging from food service to information technology and administration. Wage information was not immediately available. Job fairs will be held at Trackside.

CDI said the structure would include two quick-service restaurants, a bar, large TVs and 600 so-called historic racing machines. Historic racing refers to electronic betting on replays of horse races. Some of the betting machines resemble slot machines.

The Louisville-based company said in a press release that the project also would create 250 construction jobs.

Kevin Flanery

“This is a great opportunity for us to revitalize another area of our city while strengthening the commonwealth’s equine industry through larger purses and greater incentives for Kentucky breeders and owners,” Churchill Downs Racetrack President Kevin Flanery said in the release. “Stronger horse racing means a stronger Kentucky.”

The company said in a press release that it hoped to begin construction this year and open the venue by summer of next year.

Churchill Downs had said in March that its mobile betting subsidiary, TwinSpires, had relocated its headquarters to Louisville from Southern California, bringing more than 70 technology-focused jobs to Kentucky.

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