(Louisville Business First.) - You'll feel the Kentucky Derby vibes emanating from Derby City Gaming as soon as you walk through the door.
We got a tour of the horse racing-inspired historical race wagering facility Thursday, ahead of Friday's grand opening, and you can see it for yourself in the attached slideshow.
For now, gamers can test their luck on more than 800 historical-race-wagering machines. At full capacity, the facility will be home to 900 machines, said Churchill Downs Racetrack President Kevin Flanery.
Ainsworth Game Technology customized the machines for the facility, so they're one-of-a-kind.
Churchill Downs has been working on the 85,000-square-foot facility since December at a cost of about $65 million. It will employ 250 full- and part-time workers and is located at Churchill Downs' former Trackside and Sports Spectrum operation at 4520 Poplar Level Road.
Flanery said the racetrack went the extra mile to bring the Derby experience to the facility, from the rose motif on the lobby's ceiling to the Triple Crown winners' names etched into the flooring. The ornate lobby has iconic Oaks and Derby images and the distinctive white brick found at Churchill Downs. The original Jockey Club logo is etched into the wall near a Derby trophy display.
"Every project we do, we try to tell stories in the background," Flanery said.
At first glance, Derby City gaming resembles a casino, but Flanery said there are a few significant differences. For starters, you don't bet against the house at Derby City Gaming. Instead, you bet against a pool of players.
Historical-race-wagering machines, sometimes known as instant racing, base all of their number generation off previously run horse races, meaning it's an extension of pari-mutuel wagering.