The Louisville casino and track business, Churchill Downs Inc. is making plans to expand its online gambling offering, including poker. The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority approved a $1 million tax incentive to the group to hire a batch of 50 new employees at its North Hurstbourne Parkway headquarters, who would help Churchill Downs complete its planned $4 million expansion.
Churchill Downs is hoping to be poised and ready when state and federal legislation change in Kentucky to allow online gambling. As such, it is developing the necessary software and, at the same time, creating at least 50 new high-paying jobs where the average hourly pay, including benefits, would be about $80.
The new employees would be part of the efforts to prepare Churchill Downs for legalized online gambling and online poker, and would expand the group’s technology team based in Lexington, Kentucky and Mountain View, California. Churchill Downs would not elaborate on what exactly the new employees would be doing, however officials with the metro chamber of commerce said: “You’re going to see a lot of mainframe, technology and software.”
There is a chance that the new team could also be based in Mountain View where Churchill Downs’ TwinSpires.com sports betting arm is based, or Atlanta where its Bluff Media division is located.
Churchill Downs Inc. accelerated its efforts to develop online gambling software after the US Department of Justice reversed its decades long opinion that the 1961 Wire Act referred to all forms of gambling.
It may be some time now before we see any changes in Kentucky’s online gambling laws on a state level and even if changes do take place, it will take time before the state catches up to those who already offer online gambling. That includes Nevada, which has already launched real money online poker, as well as New Jersey and Delaware who are set to launch their own industries later this year.