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Experience Gained From Building and Operating Illinois’ Most Successful Casino Offers Local Communities the Greatest Returns and Least Risk
WAUKEGAN, Ill., Sept. 23, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- At last week’s Waukegan City Council Special Meeting the developer, operator and owners of the state’s most successful casino, Rivers Casino Des Plaines, shared their vision for generating as much as $5 million more per year for the city of Waukegan and other local communities than other bidders. The Rivers Casino Waukegan team also committed to donating two percent of pre-tax income back to the community through ongoing charitable contributions, which they estimate will be $1 million annually at the beginning. Local municipal leaders will choose how Rivers’ charitable donations are used and these resources could be directed to local classrooms and educational causes.
“Over the next 50 years as we grow, it’s projected that Rivers Casino Waukegan will provide over $90 million in charitable contributions to local communities which can be dedicated to public schools and educational causes,” said Neil Bluhm, chairman of Rush Street Gaming. “By our third year in operation, we project $11 million in annual tax revenue for local host communities—the most of any of the bidders. The city of Waukegan will benefit from an additional $2 million in annual admissions taxes as well. Based on our superior performance, as we grow, the tax payments to local communities will increase significantly from these initial levels.”
Rivers’ owners, Churchill Downs Incorporated and Rush Street Gaming, outlined how they would bring their combined expertise as developers and operators of some of the most successful gaming and entertainment venues in the country to Waukegan at the Fountain Square site at the September 18 public hearing. The companies’ proven marketing and customer service approach will attract high-end patrons to Waukegan and generate $282 million in gross revenue by the fifth year of operation—resulting in more local taxes for Waukegan and neighboring communities than any other bidder.
Underscoring their commitment to positively impacting the local community as quickly as possible, Rivers also promised the city monthly payments totaling $6 million a year in lieu of tax revenue during construction, starting only six months from the date a gaming license is awarded if the developers elect to expedite construction of the permanent entertainment complex and forgo a temporary casino. The Rivers team reiterated that they will be ready to go on day one of being approved and are already suitable casino owners and operators in Illinois.
“Churchill Downs Incorporated and Rush Street gaming are licensed and approved by regulators in 40 jurisdictions, including the Illinois Gaming Board, and we have unmatched experience in running successful casino and entertainment venues,” said Bill Carstanjen, Chief Executive Officer of Churchill Downs Incorporated. “We are proud to partner with Rush Street Gaming to bring our shared vision for a world-class entertainment destination to Waukegan and there is no doubt we will be the city’s best and most successful partner.”
Rivers touted its database of nearly 700,000 customers and its 10-year, $150 million investment in building the Rivers brand as a tremendous advantage to Waukegan and among the reasons it can deliver the highest local tax revenue to the city.
City officials heard from numerous team members and testimonials of elected officials that Rivers keeps its commitment to hiring and contracting within the local community.
“We’re especially proud of our record of hiring a diverse local workforce. At Des Plaines, 60 percent of our employees are minorities as well as a third of our executives,” Bluhm said. “We spend over $40 million a year with local Illinois businesses and over the past four years we’ve spent $37 million with minority- and women-owned businesses and disadvantaged business enterprises.”
Rivers Casino Des Plaines earns more than twice as much gaming revenue as any other casino in Illinois. The ownership team will bring that successful model to Waukegan and has proposed a 1,625-gaming-seat Rivers Casino Waukegan. In addition to the tax revenue and charitable contributions, Rivers Casino Waukegan expects to create over 1,200 permanent jobs; 900 union construction jobs and pump over $150 million annually into the local Waukegan and Lake County economy.
About Rush Street Gaming
Founded by Neil Bluhm and Greg Carlin, Rush Street Gaming and its affiliates, headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, have developed and operate successful casinos in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Des Plaines, Illinois (Chicago area) and Schenectady, New York. Rush Street Gaming and its affiliates has become one of the leading casino developers in the United States and operators of online casinos and sports books. Additional information at: www.rushstreetgaming.com
About Churchill Downs Incorporated
Churchill Downs Incorporated ("CDI") (Nasdaq: CHDN), headquartered in Louisville, Ky., is an industry-leading racing, online wagering and gaming entertainment company anchored by our iconic flagship event - The Kentucky Derby. We own and operate Derby City Gaming, a historical racing machine facility in Louisville. We also own and operate the largest online horseracing wagering platform in the U.S., TwinSpires.com, and are a leader in brick-and-mortar casino gaming with approximately 11,000 slot machines / video lottery terminals and 200 table games in eight states. We also operate sports wagering and iGaming through our BetAmerica platform in multiple states. Additional information about CDI can be found online at www.churchilldownsincorporated.com.
Information set forth in this news release contains various “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (the “Act”), which provides certain “safe harbor” provisions. All forward-looking statements made in this presentation are made pursuant to the Act. Forward-looking statements are typically identified by the use of terms such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “could,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “may,” “might,” “plan,” “predict,” “project,” “seek,” “should,” “will,” and similar words, although some forward-looking statements are expressed differently.
Although we believe that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are reasonable, we can give no assurance that such expectations will prove to be correct. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from expectations include the following: the effect of economic conditions on our consumers' confidence and discretionary spending or our access to credit; additional or increased taxes and fees; public perceptions or lack of confidence in the integrity of our business; loss of key or highly skilled personnel; restrictions in our debt facilities limiting our flexibility to operate our business; general risks related to real estate ownership, including fluctuations in market values and environmental regulations; catastrophic events and system failures disrupting our operations; online security risk, including cyber-security breaches; inability to recover under our insurance policies for damages sustained at our properties in the event of inclement weather and casualty events; increases in insurance costs and inability to obtain similar insurance coverage in the future; inability to identify and complete acquisition, expansion or divestiture projects, on time, on budget or as planned; difficulty in integrating recent or future acquisitions into our operations; number of people attending and wagering on live horse races; inability to respond to rapid technological changes in a timely manner; inadvertent infringement of the intellectual property of others; inability to protect our own intellectual property rights; payment-related risks, such as risk associated with fraudulent credit card and debit card use; compliance with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act or applicable money-laundering regulations; work stoppages and labor issues; difficulty in attracting a sufficient number of horses and trainers for full field horseraces; inability to negotiate agreements with industry constituents, including horsemen and other racetracks; personal injury litigation related to injuries occurring at our racetracks; our inability to utilize and provide totalisator services; weather conditions affecting our ability to conduct live racing; increased competition in the horseracing business; changes in the regulatory environment of our racing operations; changes in regulatory environment of our online horseracing business; increase in competition in our online horseracing; uncertainty and changes in the legal landscape relating to our online wagering business; legalization of online sports betting and iGaming in the United States and our ability to predict and capitalize on any such legalization; inability to expand our sports betting operations and effectively compete; failure to comply with laws requiring us to block access to certain individuals could result in penalties or impairment with respect to our mobile and online wagering products; increased competition in our casino business; changes in regulatory environment of our casino business; costs, delays, and other uncertainties relating to the development and expansion of casinos; and concentration and evolution of slot machine manufacturing and other technology conditions that could impose additional costs.