DraftKings Partners With Churchill Downs to Create and Launch Horse Racing Betting Offering

  • The TwinSpires CDI subsidiary will provide its advance deposit wagering technology
  • The current plan is for DK HORSE to initially be available in 21 states
  • DraftKings hopes to have DK HORSE up and running in time for the 2023 Kentucky Derby
  • Other major USA sportsbook operators already have horse racing betting offerings
horse race
DraftKings and CDI are working together to develop and launch a DraftKings-branded horse racing betting app. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Working closely together

DraftKings has partnered with Churchill Downs Incorporated (CDI) to create and launch a horse racing betting app. CDI announced the news of the multi-year partnership on Tuesday. The TwinSpires CDI subsidiary will provide its advance deposit wagering (ADW) technology to the US-focused gambling operator. TwinSpires is currently the leader in the online horse racing betting market in the US.

CDI will also provide pari-mutuel betting rights to DraftKings relating to all CDI-owned or controlled racing content, such as the Kentucky Derby. CDI will work on DraftKings’ behalf to secure additional racing content.

users will be able to place wagers on horse races through a standalone app

DraftKings plans to provisionally launch DK HORSE at some point in the coming months. When the platform eventually goes live, eligible DraftKings users will be able to place wagers on horse races through a standalone app.

A collaborative approach

The current plan is for DK HORSE to initially be available in 21 states, provided it gets all of the relevant approvals from regulators. According to the press release, DK HORSE will be scheduled to have a full launch in time for the Kentucky Derby in May 2023.

Speaking about the agreement with CDI, DraftKings CEO and chairman Jason Robins said that he is excited “not only to give our existing customers an opportunity to engage with pari-mutuel horse wagering, but also to acquire new customers efficiently during marquee horse racing moments.”

Robins added that DraftKings expects the new offering to be profitable instantly due to the agreement’s structure.

CDI CEO Bill Carstanjen believes that the quality of the TwinSpires technology and offering is currently unmatched. That’s why the company is excited to work with DraftKings and help “to deliver a full end-to-end white label ADW solution that will introduce their significant base of sports betting customers to horse racing wagering.”

Other operators in the game

DraftKings certainly has an experienced partner on board. CDI has been a key part of the US horse racing scene for almost 150 years. Its headquarters is in Louisville, Kentucky and its most iconic asset is the Kentucky Derby which takes place every year at the Churchill Downs Racetrack.

DraftKings is an online gambling operator that has extensive sports betting, iGaming, and daily fantasy sports offerings across the US.

While this is DraftKings’ first significant foray into the horse racing space, other US-focused sportsbook operators have already dipped their toes into this arena. FanDuel already has a deal in place with CDI, which sees the two parties collaborating in a similar fashion to the new DraftKings deal; FanDuel Racing has been live for some time. BetMGM has a relationship with the New York Racing Association, while the Caesars Racebook is up and running in numerous states.