(Cover Photo is of Tom’s Ready, winning the 10th Running of the Leematt Stakes at Presque Isle on July 9, 2017 / Courtesy of Presque Isle)

(Photo of Presque Isle / Courtesy of Presque Isle)

According to a story released on Wednesday by The Blood-Horse.com, Churchill Downs — the home of the legendary Kentucky Derby — has reached an agreement to purchase Presque Island Downs and Casino in Erie, PA.

While the agreement is dependent on several key issues still to be concluded, like obtaining a gaming license from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, the deal is expected to close sometime in the fourth quarter of 2018.

In addition to the Pennsylvania properties and licenses, The Blood-Horse.com also confirmed that Churchill Downs had acquired the Lady Luck Casino in Vicksburg, MISS. The total cost for the two is expected to exceed $229.5 million — to be paid in cash.

“We are excited about welcoming both of these properties to the Churchill family,” said Bill Carstanjen, the Chief Executive Officer of Churchill Downs, Inc. “Presque Isle will give us a foothold in Pennsylvania, which has recently passed legislation authorizing real money online gaming. The Lady Luck Vicksburg is immediately adjacent to our Riverwalk facility and offers us operational efficiencies in a stable region. Both properties fit our investment criteria and will be immediately accretive to our shareholders.”

Presquie Isle first opened its casino in February, 2007. It now operates about 1,600 slot machines, 32 table games and a poker room. The live Thoroughbred racing operation began in September 2007, and the track currently races about 100 live dates each year.

Lady Luck Vicksburg has about 620 slots, nine table games, and also operates an adjacent hotel.

Both of those properties are currently owned by Eldorado Resorts, which is a publicly-traded casino and entertainment company that is based in Reno, NEV.