Jeff Smith has over thirty-five years of experience as a sports, entertainment, and horse racing executive with expertise in venue management and success in working with regulators and lawmakers. Throughout his career, Jeff has guided organizations through rapidly changing business environments. His leadership has enabled companies to capitalize on opportunities requiring significant change in strategies, markets, and scale.
After six years with a national public accounting firm, Mr. Smith began his career in the gaming and entertainment industry at Churchill Downs, Incorporated. Over the next eighteen years, he performed several key roles and, as president of Churchill Downs Management Company, was instrumental in the company’s evolution from a single-location operation to the premier, multi-state industry leader. As president of Hoosier Park, Jeff oversaw the construction, opening, and successful operation of Indiana’s first horse racetrack. During a period of great change in the industry, Mr. Smith personally worked on many of the most significant industry innovations.
In 2001, Mr. Smith joined the senior management of Centaur Gaming with the responsibility to position the company for growth. During his tenure, Centaur grew from a few employees with no operations into a company that raised almost $1 billion in capital, generated annual revenues of $250 million, and had more than 1,000 employees. During this time, Mr. Smith played a key role in transforming Hoosier Park Racing & Casino into a successful, fully integrated racing, gaming, dining, and entertainment destination.
Through Mr. Smith’s progressive leadership responsibilities, companies have successfully navigated new business paradigms, including technological opportunities, market expansion, and the introduction of gaming and facility enhancements to maximize the entertainment experience.
Mr. Smith graduated from the University of Kentucky with a B.A. in Accounting and earned his CPA (Kentucky).