The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission approved the sale of Ellis Park to Churchill Downs Inc. at a meeting Tuesday.
The unanimous approval will allow CDI to begin work at the Western Kentucky track.
CDI announced last week that it had agreed to buy Ellis Park for $79 million from an affiliate of Laguna Development Corp.
CDI plans to improve Ellis Park's racing infrastructure and to build Owensboro Racing & Gaming, a track extension and entertainment venue at Towne Square Mall in Owensboro, Ky.. The facility will have 600 historical horse-racing machines, a simulcast wagering center, and multiple food and beverage offerings.
Over the next year, CDI expects its total investment in Henderson and Daviess Counties to be about $75 million in addition to the purchase price.
According to the DRF report, Laguna Development is an investment arm of the Laguna Pueblo Tribe in New Mexico. It purchased Ellis Park for $11 million in 2019, when it was losing money.
The KHRC was frustrated with Laguna’s failure invest as much as $100 million in the Ellis property, as it pledged when it bought the track, DRF reported.