The Mint Gaming Hall at Kentucky Downs opened Labor Day weekend and is expected to be an entertainment and economic benefit for Kentucky and Tennessee with its location near the state line.
Shortly after prominent horseman and entrepreneur Ron Winchell and gaming and investment-banking executive Marc Falcone bought Kentucky Downs in March 2019, they held a groundbreaking in November for the 30,000 square foot facility. In less than a year, the Mint Gaming Hall opened.
The facility will add more than 75 new jobs in food and beverage, housekeeping, security, gaming technology, and marketing. According to Director of Marketing John Wholihan, it will be a great opportunity for someone interested in going into a career in hospitality. The company promotes from within with employees having the ability to move to lead and supervisory positions.
The venue will have 600 all new historical horse racing terminals where jackpots are won by correctly predicting the finishing position of as many of the horses in the historical horse race. The gaming hall uses pari-mutuel wagering, rather than playing against the house. Also available are several new Pac-Man terminals, which are new to Kentucky Downs.
In addition, the gaming hall will have a center bar area with televisions around the bar and electrical outlets including USB ports. The colors of the lights can be changed to coincide with various events. There is a large stage for live entertainment. The entertainment can be viewed at the stage, but will also be piped to screens located around the gaming terminals.
The Mint Gaming Hall is only the first phase of improvements to Kentucky Downs. The next phase will be renovating the present gaming room and adding a number of restaurants located in a central area. According to Wholihan, plans in the future include a hotel.
“We are excited about opening the Mint Gaming Hall not only for the entertainment value but the impact on the community with jobs,” he said.
The horse racing season has started at Kentucky Downs. There are six races scheduled for September. Kentucky Downs is a European-style racecourse that is one mile and five-sixteenths in length. The races are Sept. 9, 10, 12, 13, and 16.
In 2019 Kentucky Downs provided more than 20 million in state/local taxes, wages and benefits, and charitable contributions to local Kentucky and Tennessee communities.