ECL Entertainment, Clairvest Purchase Wyoming Downs

Wyoming Downs | Alexandra Ortiz

ECL Entertainment and its joint venture partner Clairvest Group have entered into an agreement to purchase Wyoming Downs in Evanston, as well as the track's historic racing locations across Wyoming, the partners announced Monday. The sale is expected to be finalized in the second quarter of 2024, pending all required regulatory approvals and standard closing conditions.

Based in Las Vegas, ECL operates live horse racing and four historic horse racing locations in Kentucky, including the Mint Gaming Hall at Kentucky Downs, as well as charitable gaming locations in New Hampshire that also operate historic horse racing machines.

“We are very excited to continue the growth of Wyoming Downs' racing and historic racing businesses and look forward to investing in the great state of Wyoming,” said Marc Falcone, co- founder of ECL.

Wyoming Downs opens for its 2024 season June 8.

“Given our company's deep roots in horse racing, the purchase of Wyoming Downs is a natural extension of our business,” said ECL co-founder Ron Winchell. “We look forward to working with all of the Wyoming Downs stakeholders.”

Clairvest, based in Toronto, is a private equity firm with over $3 billion of assets under management. This transaction would represent Clairvest's 16th investment in the gaming space, building on Clairvest's 24-year successful track record in the gaming industry.

“We are excited to partner with ECL for our second joint investment in horse racing in the United States,” said Michael Wagman, President and Managing Director of Clairvest. “We look forward to continuing to build the business in Wyoming.”

Wyoming Downs has been owned for the last 10 years by a partnership led by Wyoming Equity Investors, LLC, and Eric Nelson. In addition to its horse racing track in Evanston, Wyoming Downs also operates 18 off-track betting locations throughout the state in Evanston, Casper, Cheyenne, Evansville, Gillette, Green River, Laramie, Mills, Sheridan, Rock Springs, and Thermopolis. Wyoming Downs employs 163 people across the state.

“This is a huge win for the State of Wyoming. ECL is the right operator at the right time for Wyoming Downs and will make the state proud,” said Nelson.

Valtus Capital Group, an investment bank specializing in the gaming and real estate industry, is advising Wyoming Downs on the transaction.

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