TwinSpires Announces Halt on Online Sports Betting Venture
Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
Online betting operator TwinSpires is leaving the sports betting space, Churchill Downs Inc. CEO Bill Carstanjen announced on Thursday.
Churchill Downs Inc. owns TwinSpires and the eponymous race track located in Louisville, Ky. that hosts the annual Kentucky Derby.
While TwinSpires has shown its weight in horse race betting, it has struggled to gain a foothold in the sports betting space.
“We will exit the [business to consumer] online wagering space,” Carstanjen said in a statement. “This isn’t the result we wanted, but it is the prudent next step. We remain excited about TwinSpires horse racing.”
Churchill Downs Inc. first launched as a sportsbook operator three years ago under the branding of BetAmerica — which has now gone defunct.
TwinSpires had been operating legal online sports wagering in eight states: Arizona, Colorado, Indiana, Michigan, Mississippi, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Tennessee.
Churchill Downs reported $31.9 million in sports betting losses during its 2021 earnings report.
Despite that, they have continued to grow as a horse wagering entity and now control about 50% of the market, according to Carstanjen.
“We remain excited about TwinSpires horse racing,” Carstanjen has said. “Pre-COVID, we were about 40% of the horse racing market. That jumped to 60% in 2020 and then in 2021 saw a steady state of 50% market share, so this is a very successful business.”
CDI still has plans to open additional casinos and racetracks.
Late last year, 888 Sportsbook announced it would halt its operations in New Jersey and focus on the launch of SI Sportsbook, a joint venture between Authentic Brands Group and the Sports Illustrated brand name.
Meanwhile, WynnBet is currently on the market for a reported asking price of about $500 million.
Representatives from WynnBet have indicated that they do not comment on market rumors.
This story has been updated to reflect Q4 earnings call statement from Wynn CEO Craig Billings.
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