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S-Bred Racing At Balzac At End Of 2014

Published: December 4, 2013 10:57 am ET

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On Wednesday, December 4, a press conference was held in Calgary, Alberta announcing details of an agreement in regard to the long-awaited racino project in Balzac.

Century Casinos Inc. issued a detailed press release late Tuesday afternoon regarding the racetrack and gaming centre. UHA issued its own press release Wednesday (the contents of which appear at the bottom of this story). The UHA press release states that the facility will have ‘an opening date by the end of 2014 with standardbred racing.’

The Century release states that, via one of its wholly-owned subsidiaries, it has signed an amended agreement with UHA as well as a commitment letter with Bank of Montreal.

With the amended agreement now in place (although it still requires final approval), the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission has moved the licensing approval process to Step 5, which gives UHA and Century Casinos the permission to build the ‘racing entertainment centre’ and racetrack under a number of conditions.

The release explains that the project will be called ‘Century Downs Racetrack and Casino.’ The release states that for entering into the amended agreements with UHA, Century Casinos receives a 15 per cent ownership position, as well as board control in UHA. In addition, Century Casinos has the right to convert CAD $11-million of the loan amount into a 60 per cent ownership position in UHA. Thus, if Century Casinos exercises its conversion right, it could own 75 per cent of UHA.

The release states that Horse Racing Alberta, the governing authority for horse racing in Alberta, has already approved the project and issued a license.

The contents of the press release from Century Casinos appears below.


Century Casinos Provides Update on ‘Century Downs Racetrack and Casino’ Project and the Date of the Sod Turning Ceremony in Calgary, Alberta, Canada


COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., Dec. 3, 2013 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Century Casinos, Inc. (nasdaq capital market® and vienna stock exchange:CNTY) announced today that, through a wholly owned subsidiary, it signed amended agreements with United Horsemen of Alberta Inc. ("UHA") as well as a commitment letter with Bank of Montreal ("BMO") in connection with the development of a racetrack and Racing Entertainment Centre ("REC") in Balzac, north metropolitan area of Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

The project, which will be called "Century Downs Racetrack and Casino," will be the only horse racetrack in the Calgary area and will consist of a 5.5 furlongs (0.7 miles) racetrack and a REC, including a gaming floor offering 550 gaming machines, a bar, a lounge, restaurant facilities and an off-track betting area. This REC license is the only license currently available in any metropolitan area of Alberta, as its application pre-dates the three-year moratorium on new Casinos and RECs (which can be extended for an additional two years) by the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission ("AGLC").

The Company completed its due diligence on the project. Litigation that was brought by a third party against UHA relating to prior business arrangements between that party and UHA has been settled, allowing the project to move forward. The updated budget for the construction and opening of the REC and racetrack is estimated at CAD 24 million (USD 23 million based on the exchange rate in effect on November 30, 2013). The Company agreed to lend up to CAD 24 million to UHA and intends to provide the loan to UHA with borrowings under an amended Credit Agreement with BMO; BMO and the Company signed a commitment letter in this respect.

For entering into the amended agreements with UHA the Company received a 15% ownership position as well as board control in UHA. In addition, the Company has the right to convert CAD 11 million of the loan amount into a 60% ownership position in UHA. Thus, if the Company exercises its conversion right, it would own 75% of UHA. Once the project is developed and operational and for as long as the Company has not exercised its conversion rights for a majority ownership position in UHA, the Company will receive 60% of UHA's net profit before tax as a management fee, subject to certain provisions.

Both the credit and management agreements are subject to final approvals from the AGLC. AGLC has moved the licensing approval process to step 5, which give UHA and the Company the permission to build the REC and racetrack under a number of conditions; the license itself will be issued shortly before the planned opening of the REC and racetrack, upon a final review by AGLC. All significant shareholders in UHA, including the Company, have already been found suitable by the AGLC. Horse Racing Alberta, the governing authority for horse racing in Alberta, has already approved the project and issued a license. The applications for final building permits are in process with Rocky View County. There is no assurance that the needed approvals will be obtained or as to the timing of such approvals.

The proposed project is located less than one mile north of the city limits of Calgary and 4.5 miles from the Calgary International Airport. The location is ideally positioned exiting off the Queen Elizabeth II Highway, which is the main corridor between Calgary and Edmonton and one of the most heavily used highways in Western Canada, next to the CrossIron Mills shopping mall, a major regional attraction, and would capture both the north and the northwest Calgary markets, which do not currently have a casino.

The Company plans to hold a sod turning ceremony on December 4, 2013 in Calgary. The Company anticipates that the REC project will be completed by the end of 2014.


The United Horsemen of Alberta issued its own press release on Wednesday.

The press release states that the facility will have ‘an opening date by the end of 2014 with standardbred racing.’

The release goes on to state that thoroughbred racing will commence at the track in 2016.

The contests of the UHA release appear below.


Calgary, Alberta, Canada Horse Racetrack and Casino


CALGARY, Alberta, December 4, 2013 – United Horsemen of Alberta and Century Casinos announced today they will be building a racetrack and casino.

The project, which will be called ‘Century Downs Racetrack and Casino,’ will be the only horse racetrack in the Calgary area and will consist of a 5.5 furlongs (0.7 miles) racetrack and a casino, including a gaming floor offering 550 gaming machines, a bar, a lounge, restaurant facilities and an off-track betting area.

The project is located less than one mile north of the city limits of Calgary and 4.5 miles from the Calgary International Airport. The location is ideally positioned exiting off the Queen Elizabeth II Highway and next to the CrossIron Mills shopping mall. It will capture both the north and the northwest Calgary markets, which do not currently have a casino.

United Horsemen of Alberta and Century Casinos anticipate to spend CAD $24 million on the construction of the racetrack and casino, the funding thereof has been secured, with an opening date by the end of 2014 with standardbred racing. Thoroughbred racing will commence in 2016.

The United Horsemen of Alberta Inc. (‘UHA’) is a private corporation based in Calgary, Alberta. UHA was organized in 2002, primarily by Alberta Horsemen and other interested parties, with the sole purpose of designing, developing and operating a world class horse racing facility and racing entertainment centre for the greater Calgary area.


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