Casino operator Churchill Downs Inc. on Sept. 4 said it had completed its previously announced purchase of the 50% stake that it did not own in the casino at Ocean Downs and Ocean Downs Racetrack in Berlin, Md., from Saratoga Casino Holdings LLC.
Under the terms of the deal, Churchill received the assets in exchange for its 25% stake in Saratoga Casino Holdings, which owns Saratoga Casino Hotel in New York and Saratoga Casino Black Hawk in Colorado.
Churchill entered into a tax-efficient partial liquidation agreement with Saratoga Harness Racing Inc. to dispose of its shareholding. The transaction, in effect, allowed Churchill to acquire a 37.5% holding in Ocean Downs due to its indirect ownership of an additional 12.5% of Ocean Downs through its 25% stake in Saratoga.
Churchill now has 100% ownership of Ocean Downs. It has no equity interest or management involvement in Saratoga New York or Saratoga Colorado, but it will have exclusive rights to operate internet real-money sports betting and real-money gaming on behalf of Saratoga in New York and Colorado for 15 years, provided that sports betting is legalized.