LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) Officials with Keeneland and The Red Mile have unveiled plans to expand their facilities in order to add "instant racing" games.
On Wednesday, the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission talked about the proposals during its meeting at the Kentucky Horse Park.
The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission granted both race tracks a license to offer wagering on historical horse races, also known as instant racing.
The Red Mile plans to spend around $25 million dollars on the investment as a whole and most of that money will be used to construct a new 50,000 square foot building.
The building will house 500 instant racing machines along with new venues for dining, shopping and nightlife.
Keeneland also has a similar project in the works. Representatives tell us they plan to construct a 40,000 square foot building behind Keene Barn to house all of their simulcast races along with 600 instant racing machines.
Experts in the horse racing industry say the instant racing machines are very similar to slot machines.
“It’s very similar in terms of the look and feel of a slot machine but we will have simulcast in the facility as well. It will be very much about horse racing all the around. The machines, the simulcast, the look and feel would be what people expect of Keeneland,” said Vince Gabbert, the Vice President and C.O.O. at Keeneland.
“You wager on historical races and there’s a bank of races in a huge data base. You will bet on the race but you only have the ability to watch the finish of a race instead of the entire race,” Gabbart continued.
Representatives from Red Mile and Keeneland say the opportunity to wager on historical horse races will offer folks a faster way to bet.
“It’s very popular with people that believe racing is slow and boring,” said Joe Costa, President and C.E.O. of The Red Mile. “This new project will also allow us to make an investment in a historic facility that’s 140 years old. It’s is in need of an investment to update its facilities and it will generate a new customer base.”
Keeneland and The Red Mile hope to have their respective projects completed by July of 2015.