Betting at the old theater

Theater building on Uinta will be horse race wagering venue

The old theater building at 699 Uinta Drive is set to become a venue for wagering on horse racing.

During their meeting on Tuesday, the Sweetwater County Board of County Commissioners gave approval to 307 Horse Racing, Inc. to use the building to conduct pari-mutuel wagering on live horse racing, historic horse racing, and simulcast events. The company's Vice President Kyle Ridgeway and CEO Jack Greer spoke to the commissioners about their plans for the building.

"This would be our first location and only location in Green River," Ridgeway said.

307 Horse Racing opened their first location in Sweetwater County in Rock Springs last October.

"We think that's a really nice facility for us for a number of reasons," Ridgeway said of the Green River location.

The company's plans for the old theater building include leveling the floor on one side to create a space for gaming, and leaving the screen on the other side to show sporting events such as Wyoming football games, the Super Bowl, or March Madness, as a few examples.

Ridgeway also pointed out that the building already has a liquor license through the City of Green River. And he noted that other uses for the building could be expanded on in the future.

"We've got some optionality with a facility that big," Ridgeway said. "There's some other potential things we could do with the square footage."

Ridgeway discussed using the building as an entertainment center, potentially bringing in something like arcade games in the future. However, he noted that the company just opened their first entertainment center in Cheyenne about a month ago, so they want to see how it does before committing to a similar concept for other facilities.

Currently they are estimating that it will take about six to nine months to get the facility in Green River open to start conducting horse race wagering.

Both Ridgeway and Greer discussed the pride the company takes in their facilities and the ways they believe they benefit the communities they are in. Ridgeway pointed out that gaming facilities also create tax revenue locally, explaining that 1% of the total bet is split between the county and the city. Greer also noted that the revenue they generate from historical horse racing machines expands the live racing industry in Wyoming.

"With every facility that we open, we're expanding that industry, increasing purse money," he said. "It's really exciting to see the amount of horsemen that are gaining traction here in the state of Wyoming due to the HHR business in the state. It's an exciting time."

"We think we bring a first-class, professional product to the communities that we come to," Ridgeway said. "We think that this is going to be a really nice, high-end product for that community."


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