Ohio's latest entry into the gambling industry opened its doors for business Thursday morning. Miami Valley Gaming in Warren County features 1,600 video lottery terminals, several dining options and a harness racetrack that will open in February. President and general manager Jim Simms said the facility is expected to generate about $24 million per year for the community.
"We had over a thousand jobs created just in constructing the facility. We've got over 500 associates working here," said Simms. "We're doing business with a lot of local businesses for supplies, vendors and trades, so it's a huge economic engine for the area."
The gaming facility sits on 120 acres on State Route 63 between Cincinnati and Dayton. Simms expects it will draw visitors from throughout the region.
It's the state's third horse track with video lottery terminals, called racinos for short, and it joins the four voter-approved casinos in Ohio and four more racinos on the way. Simms isn't worried about all the competition.
"We know this is a business based on discretionary income, but we look at this as a form of entertainment," he said. "Instead of going out for dinner or going to a movie, a lot of people want to come here and have a great experience."
Miami Valley Gaming and Racing is a partnership between Delaware North Companies Gaming & Entertainment and Churchill Downs Incorporated. Delaware North has been operating in Ohio for 50 years. Churchill Downs owns the Churchill Downs Racetrack in Louisville--home of the Kentucky Derby.