While Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ:CHDN) is best known for the horse racing at its eponymous racetrack, including the world-famous Kentucky Derby, the company also operates 10 casinos across several U.S. states. According to a press release yesterday, Churchill Downs is reopening five more of its casinos over the coming week, bringing the total open for business to seven.
Two of the casinos will reopen today, June 12: one in Florida and another in Pennsylvania. Tomorrow, a casino in New Orleans, Louisiana, will begin accepting visitors again, while the last two locations named in the press release -- one in Maryland and the other in Ohio -- will reopen next Friday, June 19.
While each casino will meet local health department requirements, Churchill Downs also has a battery of safety protocols for all its gambling establishments. Intended to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, the "CDI 360 Degree Approach to Safety" includes limiting the number of guests to improve social distancing and requiring masks for employees.
Visitors will undergo temperature scans before they can enter the casinos, and high-touch surfaces like slot machines, card tables, and door handles will be cleaned regularly. Churchill Downs CEO Bill Carstanjen said the company is "grateful to our teams who have ensured smooth, safe and successful reopenings over the past month and to our returning guests who have enthusiastically adapted to new protocols."
Churchill Downs has also been in the news as it resumed operating horse races without spectators, but still attracted tens of millions of dollars in online wagers on its Twin Spires app.