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More than $5 million gambled on Red Mile machines in less than 3 weeks

The 902 instant racing machines at Red Mile averaged almost $300 a day in wagers in the parlor's first 19 days. The facility opened Sept. 12.
The 902 instant racing machines at Red Mile averaged almost $300 a day in wagers in the parlor's first 19 days. The facility opened Sept. 12. Herald-Leader

The gambling parlor at Red Mile took in more than $5 million in wagers in the first 19 days it was open, according to figures reported to the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission.

The $42 million project, which is jointly operated by Keeneland, has 902 instant racing machines, which means each machine averaged almost $300 a day in play during September. The parlor opened Sept. 12.

Of the $5,115,524.23 wagered, more than $4.7 million was returned to players in the form of winnings.

The remaining $410,246.88 was divided among taxes, purses and revenue for the tracks. The state received almost $77,000 in taxes, with most of that going into various equine-related funds, but $11,509.93 was generated for the state's General Fund.

Keeneland and Red Mile split $333,514.01.

Although the parlor at Red Mile was open less than three weeks by the end of September, the total wagered there topped that of Ellis Park in Henderson, which in September saw slightly more than $5 million in betting on its 177 machines, which also are instant racing games.

Ellis Park's machines averaged $943 each; if Red Mile reaches that level of play, it will average more than $25.5 million in wagers every month.

The only other racetrack in Kentucky with historical wagering, Kentucky Downs in Franklin, operates 500 machines from a different game vendor, Encore Racing Based Games. Kentucky Downs had more than $29.5 million in wagering in September, which means each machine averaged more than $1,967 a day. If the Red Mile parlor is able to generate that level of play, it would average $53 million a month in wagers.

Keeneland and Red Mile officials have said they anticipate annual revenue of at least $44 million once the parlor is mature.

Collectively, the three gambling parlors generated almost $40 million in wagers in September, generating almost $600,000 in tax revenue, including more than $132,000 for the General Fund.

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