Considering its options
Churchill Downs is considering selling its TwinSpires Racing brand. As reported by Bloomberg on Thursday, anonymous sources close to the matter have disclosed news of a possible sale of the Kentucky Derby’s official betting partner. Churchill Downs’ share price increased 6% following publication of the news.
A sale of the brand could generate as much as $1.5bn
The Louisville-based company has reportedly employed an advisor to solicit possible interest in TwinSpires Racing. A sale of the brand could generate as much as $1.5bn, but Churchill Downs has not yet made an official decision whether it will sell or not.
It appears that any potential sale would just include the horse racing side of the TwinSpires brand, excluding its sports betting and online casino operations. The company declined to provide an official comment on the matter.
A wide-ranging offering
For many years, TwinSpires has focused on pari-mutuel horse racing betting, with its online platform accessible in a long list of states. Churchill Downs has described TwinSpires Racing as the “premier online horse racing wagering platform in the United States.”
began offering sports betting through the BetAmerica brand
TwinSpires also now has sportsbooks and online casinos operational around the nation. Churchill Downs originally began offering sports betting through the BetAmerica brand and kept the focus of TwinSpires on horse racing. However, the company announced in January that it would rebrand BetAmerica to TwinSpires.
There are now online TwinSpires sportsbooks available in Arizona, Colorado, Indiana, Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee, with retail sportsbooks in Colorado, Indiana, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, and Arizona. TwinSpires also has online casinos up and running in Michigan, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.
Positive recent results
TwinSpires Racing handle rose 31% in the third quarter when compared to the same period in 2019, with active users up 23% from two years previous. Churchill Downs compared the results to 2019 figures because the Kentucky Derby took place in the third quarter in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, rather than its usual second-quarter date.
During the earnings call announcing those results, Churchill Downs chief operating officer and president Bill Mudd gave no indication that the company is considering selling the Twinspires brand. Mudd confirmed that the fourth quarter will be a very stable period. Company CEO Bill Carstanjen also noted that the company planned to make improvements to the horse racing wagering platform going forward.