Indiana Grand Racing & Casino has converted a 9,600-square-foot casino restaurant into an upscale off-track betting parlor that will be open year-round.
The Winner's Circle Brewpub & OTB, located just off the casino floor at the track formerly known as Indiana Downs, is Centaur Gaming's latest racing upgrade. Earlier this year the Indiana Grand Race Course meet opened with new barns and a resurfaced dirt track.
The new race book, which opened July 10, is patterned after the Winner's Circle Pub, Grille & OTB in downtown Indianapolis. That facility replaced an existing betting parlor opened in the 1990s by Hoosier Park Racing & Casino, which is now owned by Centaur.
The Winner's Circle features Indiana micro-brewed beers and local wines in addition to a menu featuring items made from locally sourced ingredients. It even has menu pages that light up when the menu is opened.
"We get a much more diverse crowd on weekends," manager Tricia Lavore said. "And on Saturday nights it's much more mixed. The casino customers are coming in to try the food. The horse bettors have embraced the place even though it's not your typical OTB parlor."
The facility, which can seat 230 people at tables, betting carrels, and the bar, has 80 HD flat-screen televisions and a 15-by-20-foot screen. It offers FastBet mobile wagering for phones and tablets.
Indiana Grand also has a simulcast betting area on the first floor of its grandstand. It has been used year-round but when the live meet ends in November, the simulcast operation will move to the casino OTB until the 2015 meet begins.
"The objective is to do a much better job integrating racing and gaming," said Jon Schuster, vice president and general manager of racing at Indiana Grand. "This puts us in the limelight for a new set of customers and gives racing a little more exposure. We want integration and a little more uniformity (in the facility)."