12/16/2010 3:24PM

Churchill Downs Inc. closes on stand-alone casino deal


Churchill Downs Inc. has closed on a $138 million deal to purchase its first non-racing property, a casino in Mississippi, the company announced on Thursday.

Churchill reached the deal to buy Harlow’s Casino Resort and Hotel in Greenville, Miss., in September. Mississippi gambling regulators recently awarded Churchill Downs a license in the state, allowing the company to close the deal.

Churchill, which owns four racetracks and two casinos that are attached to two of those racetrack properties, had never purchased a non-racing property before the deal. Harlow’s, which is located on 69 acres of land and opened in 2007, has 841 slot machines, 23 table games, a poker room, plus a 105-room hotel and a 2,600-seat theater.

Churchill officials have said that they will use a mix of cash and proceeds from a revolving credit facility for the acquisition. According to the company’s financial statements for the third quarter, Churchill had $75.6 million in cash and $124.5 million in long-term debt as of Sept. 30.