Churchill Downs names Lexington native to head online efforts

Churchill Downs Inc. named Lexington native James E. "Ted" Gay, most recently senior vice president and chief strategy officer at the Louisville company, on Monday to be president of Churchill Downs Interactive, including the company's online initiatives including, and Bluff Media. is Churchill's advance-deposit wagering platform for online betting on horse races; is a social media game site, set up as a "sweepstakes" that pays cash to winners.

Acquired by Churchill in February, Bluff Media has publications geared to poker enthusiasts, including player rankings. Bluff Media does not engage in real-money gambling, but Churchill Downs Inc. filed an interactive gaming application in Nevada in July. Nevada has adopted regulations to allow in-state real-money wagering on Internet poker.

"Throughout Ted's tenure with the company, he has played a strong leadership role in the development of CDI's online strategy and initiatives," Churchill's president and chief operating officer, William C. Carstanjen, said in a statement. "He was an essential part of our leadership team in the acquisitions of AmericaTAB and He also led the acquisition of Bluff Media and currently oversees its operations. Most recently, Ted has led the strategic thinking behind, and development of,

"Ted has developed a deep level of experience and dynamic skill set that makes him the right person to take on this new position and help lead the company further into the online space."

Gay is based in Louisville but will move to Mountain View, Calif., in early 2013. Gay assumes his new duties immediately.