08/03/2016 11:10AM

Churchill Downs Inc. and partner buy Casino at Ocean Downs


Churchill Downs Inc. and a partner of the company, Saratoga Casino Holdings, have reached an agreement to purchase the Casino at Ocean Downs, a harness track and casino in Berlin, Md., Churchill announced late on Tuesday.

Ocean Downs is owned by a private investment group controlled by William M. Rickman Jr., who also owns Delaware Park. Under the deal, Churchill and Saratoga Casino Holdings will each own 50 percent of the company’s equity, but because Churchill owns 25 percent of Saratoga Casino Holdings, Churchill will end up owning an additional 12.5 percent stake in the assets of Ocean Downs, the companies said.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, though Churchill likely will have to report its investment on its financial statements after the transaction closes. In a release, Churchill said it expects the deal to close later this year.

Ocean Downs is one of five casinos currently operating in Maryland. Rickman’s group purchased the track in 2000 and opened the casino shortly after getting state approval in 2010. The casino operates approximately 800 slot machines and electronic table games, and gross revenue from the machines this year through June has been approximately $27 million, according to the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency, or $54 million on an annualized basis.

Churchill already owns six casinos outright or in partnership. The company paid $24.8 million for a 25 percent stake in Saratoga Casino Holdings in 2014. Saratoga Casino Holdings owns Saratoga Casino and Raceway, a harness track and casino in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., along with several other assets.