Mint Gambling Hall expanding to Bowling Green
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - Kentucky Downs owners filed a building permit in July with the City of Bowling Green calling for a $6.2 million renovation of a building in the Greenwood Market Place Shopping Center, which has sat vacant since 2017.
The most recent business out of the building was the HH Gregg store which closed in 2017 as part of the chain’s bankruptcy.
A previous proposal for a satellite gambling facility in Bowling Green by Kentucky Downs was put on hold in May after a 7-3 vote by the City-County Planning Commission of Warren County. That application, submitted by the BG Landco Corp. lead by Kentucky Downs owners, called for allowing a gambling facility and an establishment located on Ken Bale Boulevard. The new proposal, however, doesn’t require any action by the planning commission.
”Well on the positive side it’s going to give us about 100 new jobs, hospitality industry jobs. It might keep tourists here a little bit longer,” said Sue Parrigin, Bowling Green City Commissioner. “As there are other events going on, it gives people another option to get out in Bowling Green and go to dinner, maybe go to the Mint Hall, stay here maybe an extra day or so. So I do believe it will probably help out the tourism industry.”
“The gaming facility is pretty much allowed to go anywhere in Warren County that is zoned for commercial. The proposed location at the old HH Gregg site is already properly zoned so no further approval is required by our office,“ said Ben Peterson, Planning Commission Executive Director.
Mint Gaming Hall’s Director of Marketing, John Wholihan, says the historical horse racing machines will be included, along with simulcast sports betting, a café, and a sports bar.
Kentucky General Assembly passed and signed legislation to legalize the HHR machines. Senate Bill 120 changed the definition of pari-mutuel wagering to include betting on historical races.
“Frankly, the state legislature back in February voted to allow pari-mutuel gambling. Historic horse racing machines now fall under that category. It was a state decision to allow Mint to be able to expand to other pari-mutuel and horse race gaming within a 60-mile radius of their current location,” Parrigin said.
Mint Gaming Hall says they expect the renovation to be complete by as early as the end of this year.
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