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Churchill Downs files for interactive Nevada gaming license

The company that operates the famed racetrack that is home to the Kentucky Derby has filed an application with Nevada gaming regulators to provide interactive gaming services as part of the state’s push into online gaming.

Churchill Downs Inc., which owns the famed Churchill Downs Racetrack in Louisville, Ky., filed the paperwork recently with the Nevada Gaming Control Board, joining nearly three dozen casino operators and gaming equipment providers in seeking approval for interactive gaming within the state.

Las Vegas attorney Frank Schreck confirmed Monday that the application was filed.

Nevada gaming regulators licensed slot makers Bally Technologies and International Game Technology in June to provide interactive gaming and has preliminarily approved Shuffle Master.

Nevada adopted regulations allowing for real money wagering on Internet poker as long as the gambling is conducted within the state’s boundaries.

Churchill Downs operates twinspires.com, an online advance-deposit wagering service for the company’s racetracks. Twinspires also offers wagering on races from racetracks around the country. Churchill Downs acquired Youbet.com in 2010, which was incorporated into TwinSpires.com.

In February, Churchill Downs acquired Bluff Media, an Atlanta-based multimedia poker content, brand and publishing company.

Bluff Media’s assets include poker publication Bluff Magazine and its online counterpart, bluffmagazine.com; The PokerDB, an online database that tracks and ranks the performance of poker players and tournaments; several blogs, online poker forums, news and editorial content; and the websites bluff.com and bluffpoker.com.

Bluff Media does not engage in real-money online gaming. In a statement, Churchill Downs, which is publicly traded on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol CHDN, said it would build upon Bluff Media’s current content and business model.

In February, Churchill Downs said the acquisition would allow the company to pursue Internet poker if the activity is legalized on a state or federal level.

Besides the Louisville racetrack, Churchill Downs owns the Calder Casino & Race Course in Miami Gardens, Fla., Harlow’s Casino Resort & Hotel in Greenville, Miss., Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots in New Orleans and the Arlington Park racetrack near Chicago.

Contact reporter Howard Stutz at hstutz@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3871. Follow @howardstutz on Twitter.

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