Saratoga Harness Racing and American Gaming Group have come to a mutual termination agreement regarding the proposed sale of the latter’s Colorado-based Wildwood Casino.

Bringing an end to the previously agreed acquisition was deemed a necessary course of action by both parties due to the current economic impacts of the COVID-19 health crisis.

“At this time, we believe it’s in the best interest of both companies, and our respective casinos, to cancel the deal so we can focus on doing what’s best for our casinos and our players,” Joe Canfora, the owner of Wildwood Casino, said. 

“At Wildwood, we’re taking this time to develop and implement an entire health and safety strategy that goes above and beyond state and local guidelines to better protect our players and provide a comfortable, safe environment for gaming.”

In anticipation of Colorado becoming the 18th jurisdiction to enter the US’ sports wagering scene, the Cripple Creek establishment entered a sports betting agreement with ISI Race & Sports for the provision of hardware, software and marketing services.

The property has also rolled-out “advanced health and safety strategies” in preparation for the return of players after nationwide mandated casino closures begin to be eased across the US.

Among the practices are on-demand cleaning crews moving throughout the casino to clean surfaces as needed and as requested and reduced operating hours to allow for extended, deep cleaning every night. Additionally, management is looking into UV light technologies for potential air filtration and other newly discovered best practices to protect patrons from the virus.

“This is all about the safety and security of our players and our employees,” Wildwood Casino’s assistant general manager Matt Andrighetti added.

“We received a lot of great input from our players, and now, we’re using their feedback to create a comprehensive health and safety plan that surpasses the county and state, mandatory precautions. 

“Also, as the newest casino building in Cripple Creek, Wildwood features high ceilings and a single-level gaming floor to offer players a more spacious, less cramped environment.”

Despite the health crises and sale collapse Wildwood is pressing ahead with construction of its 104-room, $14m hotel, in addition to undertaking a series of internal re-branding initiatives in preparation for the soon to launch sports betting section.