Historical Horse Racing Upgrades Galloping Into Newport Racing & Gaming

Written By Martin Harris on November 10, 2020 - Last Updated on January 21, 2021

The 500 historical horse racing (HHR) machines at recently opened Newport Racing & Gaming in Newport, Kentucky — just across the Ohio River from Cincinnati — have just received an upgrade.

Payment technology provider JCM Global announced Monday it has once again expanded its partnership with Churchill Downs Incorporated. Going forward, JCM will be the exclusive gaming transactions solutions provider for Newport Racing & Gaming, the newest property opened by Churchill Downs.

JCM adds efficiency, security to wagering transactions

The arrangement helps bring added efficiency and security to wagering transactions for Newport Racing & Gaming’s HHR machines. In particular, JCM Global will provide multiple solutions, including:

  • iVIZION bill validator
  • GEN5 Thermal Printer
  • ICB Intelligent Cash Box system

The iVIZION bill validator uses sophisticated sensor technology to ensure against counterfeiting, while the GEN5 Thermal Printer speedily produces promotional and wager tickets as well as promo coupons.

Not to be outdone, the ICB Intelligent Cash Box system provides management dashboards and customizable web reporting. Both help eliminate human error when handling transactions.

Last week JCM and CDI made a similar announcement regarding Oak Grove Racing, Gaming & Hotel in Oak Grove, Kentucky. Similar to the Newport deal, JCM will provide transaction solutions for the 1,325 historical horse racing machines at Oak Grove.

“We are honored to have been chosen as the exclusive provider of such products at both properties,” said Dave Kubajak, senior vice president of sales marketing and operations at JCM.

Duncan McConnell Sr., director of slot strategy and performance for Churchill Downs, was similarly sanguine in his comments about the partnership.

“We are pleased that guests at Newport Racing & Gaming will be able to experience the same quality wagering transactions they have come to expect at Oak Grove Racing, Gaming & Hotel through this expanded partnership with JCM.”

HHR machines bring ‘Vegas-style’ gaming to northern KY

Located a short drive from Cincinnati, Newport Racing & Gaming opened its doors October 2, just in time for the Preakness Stakes the following day.

The $38 million facility features a 17,000-square-foot gaming space for its 500 historical horse racing machines. It also boasts a Simulcast Wagering area for off-track betting that operates from Wednesday through Sunday.

Since opening, the facility has operated at limited capacity with social distancing and other safety protocols in place as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. All employees and visitors must wear a mask or face covering at all times.

Newport Racing & Gaming advertises “Vegas-style games,” including the historical horse racing machines found at multiple locations throughout Kentucky. The machines superficially resemble slots though technically invite players to handicap historical races while employing a pari-mutuel wagering model.

Historical horse racing machines have been a point of contention in Kentucky as of late. In September, the Kentucky Supreme Court unanimously ruled that HHR machines do not qualify as pari-mutuel wagering, thus placing them in violation of state law.

The ruling came just days before Newport’s grand opening, causing some consternation among the facility’s 70 full-time employees.

However, the ruling only applies to HHR machines that use the Exacta gaming system (formerly known as Encore). Churchill Downs does have Exacta machines in some of its other properties. The new Newport location, though, does not feature any.

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