Kentucky Downs ownership plans to expand gaming to Bowling Green

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Kentucky Downs, home of the Mint gaming hall, may soon have a footprint in Bowling Green.

BG Landco LLC has submitted an application to the City-County Planning Commission to amend the general development plan to a tract of land along Ken Bale Boulevard near Sam’s Club, which if changed, would allow a gaming facility on the property.

In 2003 when the property was zoned for commercial development, the land had a restriction placed on it that prohibits a gambling facility other than charitable gaming. The sale of the property to the ownership group that now also owns Kentucky Downs is contingent upon the planning commission allowing that change to the development plan. The current landowners who requested the original restriction are now asking to have the restriction lifted.

A recent change to state law updating the definition of pari-mutuel wagering now legalizes historic horse race wagering. Historic horse race machines have the look and feel of a slot machine to players but operate differently.

Kentucky Downs was the first horse track in the state to offer HHR machines in 2010, according to the application. The proposed development here will include HHR machines.

If the planning commission adopts the requested change, the path to the project is clear without any additional hearings needed at the Bowling Green City Commission or Warren County Fiscal Court level.

The proposed development will include a gaming facility with HHR machines, upscale restaurants and bars and other entertainment and recreational facilities, according to the application.

A public hearing via Zoom in front of the planning commission is scheduled at 5 p.m. May 20.