Keeneland

Red Mile to open gambling facility at noon Saturday

Red Mile has 902 instant racing machines in its new gambling parlor. The facility opened Saturday.
Red Mile has 902 instant racing machines in its new gambling parlor. The facility opened Saturday. Herald-Leader

Lexington's first legal gambling parlor, at Red Mile, will open to the public at noon Saturday, Red Mile and Keeneland announced. It will be open until 1 a.m. Sunday.

The parlor's 902 slots-like instant racing machines determine winners by the outcome of previously run horse races. And bets are pooled with other players.

The machines were added as part of a $42 million renovation of the historic harness racing track in a joint venture between Red Mile and Keeneland, the storied Thoroughbred track. They also share simulcasting rooms upstairs.

Keeneland and Red Mile have said they eventually expect the facility to have an average of about $1 million a day in wagering, based on handle at other Kentucky tracks that have historical wagering.

Most of the money wagered is returned to players in the form of winnings; the remaining revenue, after taxes, will be split evenly between Keeneland and Red Mile for purses.

For the opening week, the facility will be open noon to midnight Sunday and Monday; 11 a.m. to midnight Tuesday through Thursday; and 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday. No one under 21 will be allowed to play the instant racing terminals.

The Family Foundation has sued to challenge the legality of historical wagering. The case is in Franklin Circuit Court.

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