US racetrack and casino operator Churchill Downs Incorporated (CDI) has finalized its purchase of Rivers Casino in Des Plaines, after being given the go-ahead from the Illinois Gaming Board (IGB) earlier in the week.
The operator is due to pay approximately $407m for the assets, funded via cash consideration and through an existing credit facility.
One of the conditions of the sale was that CDI needed to seek more female and minority investors after the female and minority ownership interest in Rivers dropped from 17 per cent to 2.7 per cent.
Greg Carlin, CEO of Midwest Gaming and its corporate parent Rush Street Gaming, said in a statement to the Daily Herald when the transaction was first detailed: “We are thrilled to have Churchill Downs become our partner in Des Plaines, because they share our vision for the future of Rivers Casino and our commitment to our team members, community and guests.
“They have a tremendous record of success and innovation. With their representation on our board of managers, we’re confident Rivers will remain one of the most successful casino destinations in North America, and one of the best places to work in Illinois.”
Established in 2011, Rivers Des Plaines is located 15 miles from downtown Chicago, and boasts a 44,000 square foot single-level gaming floor with 983 slot machines and 58 table games.
The deal comes shortly after new governor J.B. Pritzker backed a bill proposing legal sports betting in Illinois after including a $200m in future tax revenue from wagering activities in his 2020 budget proposal.
“This property is the crown jewel of Illinois gaming and one of the country’s premier casinos,” Carstanjen said. “This is an exciting opportunity for CDI, given Rivers Des Plaines’ superior design, unparalleled location in the Chicagoland market, high-quality amenities and outstanding team.”