History of the Century Downs Racetrack and Casino
Century Downs officially opened on April 1, 2015. Construction of the project had begun under the detailed planning of Charles E. Coon and Sons Inc. a year earlier. This company is renowned in the horse racing industry as a specialist in track design. The course itself features flat dirt and has a distance of five and a half furlongs. The first day of standardbred racing was on April 25, 2015.
In March 2016, a project was approved that would see an expansion to the racetrack and the casino building. This included the development of two additional barns, a barn lounge building and a jockey building. The racetrack is located at 260 Century Downs Drive, Rocky View County, Alberta, and is one of just two top-class racetracks in the province.
On the heels of three successful standardbred seasons, Century Downs reached an agreement with the Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association of Alberta to run thoroughbreds in the fall of 2017. The racetrack played host to the 2017 World Driving Championships as part of its annual Racing Festival celebrations, and in 2018, hosted Alberta Breeder’s Fall Classic, Alberta’s most prestigious horse racing event.
Slots at Century Downs
In total, there are more than 600 slot machines on the casino floor at this venue. Players will enjoy a mix of modern electronic games and classic slot machines that appear at casinos throughout the country. Jackpot hunters will enjoy two types of progressive slot games:
- Standalone: Jackpot payouts that are limited to one machine. Once the jackpot is won on that machine, the jackpot will be reset.
- Alberta-wide progressives: These are a series of progressive jackpots that are linked with other machines across Alberta. If you are lucky enough to win one of these province-wide jackpots, you could easily be looking at a huge payout.
Most of the slots will have opportunities for big wins that are not progressive jackpots. Depending on the game, you can win these via free spin bonus features, line hits or wheel spin/second screen bonus games.
Many denominations are available. Most of the games start at a penny, with multiple win-lines giving you a lot of winning opportunities. At the other end of the spectrum, games where you play $5 or more a line can create some giant wins if you line up those symbols right.
Video lottery terminals also feature on the casino floor. These are electronic gambling machines and include a series of games for players to enjoy. These machines are conducted and managed by Alberta Gaming, with 6,000 VLTs across the province.
Table games at Century Downs
The only table game available at the racetrack is electronic roulette. This gives a modern spin to the classic game. Although the game is fully automated, the bets available remain classic. Bets are flexible, ranging from 50-50 shots like red or black through to individual numbers.
Century Downs does not offer a poker room.
Horse racing and off-track betting at Century Downs
Off-track betting is popular year-round at Century Downs. Live streaming of horse racing from all around the world features in the spacious OTB area — where you can sip on cocktails and enjoy food from The Derby. Place bets such as win, place, show, exactas, trifectas, daily doubles and more.
Nothing beats the thrill of live racing, and this takes place every Saturday and Tuesday afternoon. Check out the expert selections from Frank and Murray on the casino and racetrack website. The “Masked Capper” offers even more tips, insights and in-depth analysis on a weekly basis.
Loyalty program and promotions
Century Downs has monthly promotions that you can access by logging into the Winner’s Zone self-service kiosks. To be part of this rewards program, you simply sign up at a kiosk and verify with your government-issued ID. You can also sign up at customer services if you want to do it face to face.
As part of the program, you can win regular prizes, be entered into ballots and more. The program runs across five sites:
- Century Casino St. Albert
- Century Casino & Hotel Edmonton
- Century Mile Racetrack and Casino
- Century Downs Racetrack and Casino
- Century Casino Calgary
As well as the regular promotions, you can also enjoy 10% off all regular priced food items and any Century Downs merchandise.
Food & drink at Century Downs Racetrack and Casino
The main dining option at the casino and racetrack is The Derby. This is open Sunday to Thursday from 9:30 a.m. to 11 p.m., and from 9:30 a.m. to midnight on Friday and Saturday.
A popular choice on the breakfast menu is the “build your own breakfast” option, where you order what you want — and it appears on your plate.
The burger menu includes turkey burgers, local elk and bison burgers and house BBQ burgers. Take part in the Century Downs Burger Challenge for $40, and if you can finish it within 35 minutes, the restaurant will pay for your meal. The main menu includes Alberta steak sandwiches, Century Club sandwiches and more alongside appetizers, salads and soup, a taste of Asia section and entrees.
If you are a member of the Winner’s Zone, you can enjoy exclusive offers on the most popular specialty meals.
To enjoy a drink, head to the Century Downs Lounge. Here you can enjoy cocktails, wine and a range of craft beers. Watch the game on the big screen while you drink or cheer on your horses.
Century Downs Racetrack and Casino events
If you are looking to put on an event in the Calgary area, there are several venues in which it can take place:
- The Homestretch Room: This venue can host cocktail receptions and corporate meetings, holding up to 140 guests. Enjoy a wall-to-wall view of the racetrack in a multi-functional space featuring audio and visual presentation equipment.
- The Boardroom: Perfect for company meetings or training. This room features contemporary audio-visual equipment and catering options.
- The Paddock Room: With a large screen TV, this modern-looking space is ideal for 30 people.
In addition, you can also create an outside event for between 40 and 400 people. On-site catering options are available, including BBQ and live cooking stations, customized desserts and drink bars.
How does Century Downs Racetrack and Casino compare?
Although a relative newcomer to the horse racing and casino scene, Century Downs Racetrack and Casino is making a big impact in Calgary. With more than 600 slot machines in play, there is a slot for everyone — whether you want to play classic games, video slots, 4D slots or more. With both localized and province-wide progressive jackpots, you are only ever a spin away from a potentially big payout. Table game fans will enjoy the electronic roulette option, while the VLTs offer a range of possibilities.
Horse racing fans will certainly enjoy the live action from the track and the OTB where the action is streamed directly on the big screens at the bar. Head to The Derby restaurant at any time of day for a wide range of high-quality eating options. With a series of event rooms, the casino is also available for entertaining and business meetings.