Columbus Exposition and Racing (CER) and Caesars Entertainment, Inc. announced CER’s selection of Caesars Entertainment to build and operate a Harrah’s casino and racetrack in Columbus, Nebraska.
“We are excited to welcome Harrah’s to Nebraska,” said Tom Jackson, Managing Partner of CER. “When looking for a Casino Operator Partner, Harrah’s brand recognition and established code of commitment to its employees, customers and the communities in which they operate proved an easy selection. In addition, their superior rewards program and marketing team, high-performing entertainment network and best-in-class gaming experience check all the right boxes for this partnership.”
Jackson continues, “As we work to create a new entertainment destination for the Midwest, this partnership will be an important economic driver and job creator for Columbus and the surrounding communities. It also further reinforces our commitment to the hardworking people involved in the Nebraska horse racing industry. We look forward to providing new gaming and entertainment experiences to our valued customers.”
The approximately $75 million casino development, conveniently located off of Highway 81 in Columbus, is expected to feature a new one-mile horse racing surface, a 40,000-square-foot-casino and sportsbook with more than 400 slot machines and 20 table games, as well as a restaurant and retail space. The property is expected to be complete in late 2022.
“When Nebraska voters opened up gaming at racetracks, we knew that our experience in the casino industry combined with our commitment to horse racing made Harrah’s a perfect fit,” said Tom Reeg, CEO of Caesars Entertainment. “We look forward to creating an all-new Harrah’s experience in Columbus and connecting it to our Caesars Rewards network across the country.”
“Beyond the onset of casino gaming in Nebraska, we are thrilled with the opportunity to transform horse racing in Columbus,” said Joe Morris, SVP of Racing at Caesars Entertainment. “The opportunity to build a new, first-class track at our property illustrates our commitment to the racing industry and our intent to carry on the area’s storied racing tradition.”
Live Horse Racing has been part of the Columbus community for more than 75 years. CER board members Tom Jackson, Dan Clarey, Russell Placzek, Chad Sucha and Dennis Hall have operated Live Racing and Simulcasting at Ag Park since 2013. Columbus and surrounding counties continue to support Live Racing with Blanket Races sponsored by local businesses, class reunions and memorials.
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