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Century Casinos of Colorado Springs building $23 million project near Calgary

By: WAYNE HEILMAN wayneh@gazette.com
December 3, 2013 Updated: December 3, 2013 at 5:20 pm
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Century Casinos Inc. will break ground Wednesday on a $23 million racetrack and casino in the Calgary area that is scheduled to open by the end of next year.

The Colorado Springs-based gaming company said Tuesday it will develop Century Downs Racetrack and Casino with United Horseman of Alberta in Balzac, 4.5 miles north of Calgary International Airport.

Plans call for the 0.7-mile track to include a casino with 550 slot machines, a bar, lounge, restaurant facilities and an off-track betting area. Century will own 15 percent of United Horseman, control the United Horseman board, and loan it the construction cost using a credit agreement it has signed with Bank of Montreal.

Century has the right under the loan agreement to convert about half of the loan into an additional 60 percent stake in United Horseman once the track and casino is complete. If it doesn't exercise the conversion right, Century instead will receive 60 percent of United Horseman's profits as a management fee.

The Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission has approved construction of the track and casino and is scheduled to issue a license for the facility shortly before it opens, according to a Century news release. The track already has been issued a license by Horse Racing Alberta, but building permits are still in process.

Century also owns or operates 26 casinos in Cripple Creek, Central City, Calgary, Edmonton, Aruba, Poland and aboard 12 cruise ships.

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Contact Wayne Heilman: 636-0234

Twitter @wayneheilman

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