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Could Churchill Downs Move to Indiana?

Tuesday, 13th April 2010

In the US, turf writer William Shanklin (publisher of the website horseracingbusiness.com) asked provocatively in The Bloodhorse magazine: "Could Churchill Downs Move To Indiana?" Shanklin argued: "Envision that you are on the board of directors of Churchill Downs, which owns the home of the Bluegrass State's most recognisable calling card, the Gr1 Kentucky Derby. Your own state government stubbornly refuses to allow your racetrack to add video lottery terminals to its product line, has scotched Instant Racing & has attempted to levy an additional 1.5% tax on advance deposit wagers. To compound matters, you must try to compete with a full-scale casino across the Ohio River in Indiana. The CD board asks itself what is the best course of action, given that powerful Kentucky elected officials are openly antagonistic to the state's flagship industry. In answering such a question, directors of a publicly traded company are legally obligated to act in the best financial interest of all shareholders, rather than on sentiment or emotion. Suppose CD gives up on going hat-in-hand to Kentucky government for assistance with expanded gaming and, instead, settles on a bold & controversial proactive strategy. Working with eager economic development officials in Indiana, CD decides to replace its historic Louisville racetrack with a new facility in Southern Indiana & move its corporate headquarters to the site." (To read the full text of Shanklin's hypothesis "Could Churchill Downs Move To Indiana", click on the link in The Great Debate panel on the right-hand-side of this page.)

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