12/21/2012 3:39PM

Churchill Downs Inc., Delaware North Cos. complete purchase of Lebanon Raceway

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A partnership of Churchill Downs Inc. and Delaware North Cos. closed a deal Friday to purchase the remaining assets of the group that owned Lebanon Raceway in Lebanon, Ohio, clearing the way for construction to begin on a new casino and racetrack midway between Cincinnati and Dayton.

The partnership, called Miami Valley Gaming and Racing, plans to break ground on the new facility soon, the group said in a press release, with plans to open the new racetrack and casino in the first quarter of 2014. Racing and simulcasting will continue at the old facility until construction is complete, the partnership said.

Churchill and Delaware North reached a deal to purchase Lebanon early in 2012 for $60 million following the state government’s authorization of slot machines at racetracks and the approval of legislation allowing track owners to relocate the facilities to areas where they would face less in-state competition from other planned casinos.

The partnership reached a deal to purchase state-owned land just off Interstate 75 for $5 million earlier this year. That deal was approved by the state Thursday. Earlier, the county where the site is located approved a deal granting the partnership tax breaks to build the facility there. The new casino will have as many as 2,500 slot machines.