The owners of Century Casinos and the United Horsemen of Alberta confirmed they will partner on a new gaming entertainment venue located near the city of Calgary. The new destination, with a tentative title of the Century Downs Racetrack and Casino, is scheduled to begin construction as soon as the ground defrosts from the winter.
The new facility will be the only horseracing track in the Greater Calgary Area, located in the suburb of Balzac and near the CrossIron Shopping Centre. The partners confirm there will be a hotel, restaurants, and a casino entertainment centre attached to the racetrack.
The casino is expected to house over 550 casino games, mostly slots, as well as an off-track betting site. Developers project construction of the facility will cost approximately $24 million.
Century Casinos considers Alberta one of the top gambling provinces in Canada, and are thrilled to invest in a new casino infrastructure project near one of the largest cities in the country. However, the horseracing industry is even more excited about the potential of the new venue.
Shirley McClellan, Chief Executive of Horse Racing Alberta, believes that with a 900-seat capacity at the racetrack, a thriving casino, and off-track betting onsite, the horseracing industry will continue to be an important segment of the Alberta economy.
“Horse racing is a proud contributor to the economics of this province and has been since the province’s inception. It brings real dollars to this province. Even in our leanest years it has contributed significantly.”
Unlike in other provinces, Alberta horseracing continues to thrive year over year. A study completed in 2004 found that over $295 million was added to Alberta’s economy due to horseracing, and rose to just under $400 million in 2007.
The casino will also be Century Casinos’ third destination in Alberta, with successful venues already based in Calgary and Edmonton.