Churchill Downs inks US deal with SBTech

16 May 2018

US horse racing and gaming giant Churchill Downs Inc. has inked a partnership with SBTech to support its entry into US real-money igaming and sports wagering markets, starting with NJ and Pennsylvania.

SBTech will provide CDI with an US-facing igaming platform to manage igaming and sports wagering, where permitted, which may see CDI offer branded products separate from its TwinSpires.com advance-deposit wagering business to igaming and betting customers.

The deal will see SBTech embark on a complete overhaul of the advance-deposit wagering platform for Twinspires.com, iGB understands, as well as the potential to add sports betting at the operator’s facilities in states which authorise and regulate the activity in the wake of this week’s lifting of the long-standing US ban by the US Supreme Court.

The first stage of the strategic partnership will enable CDI to enter the New Jersey and Pennsylvania markets, which have already approved igaming and sports betting, and also Mississippi for sports wagering, subject to licences being secured and finalisation of regulations in those states.

CDI has also announced an agreement with NJ licence holder Golden Nugget to enter the Garden State's igaming and sports betting markets. In Pennsylvania it recently acquired Presque Isle Downs & Casino, while in Mississippi it already owns two casinos that will be used to offer on-property sports wagering.

As well as being one of the 'big two' advance-deposit wagering operators in the US alongside Paddy Power Betfair-owned TVG, CDI currently owns six casinos and a multi-state network of off-track betting facilities.

Advance-deposit wagering on horse racing is the most widely legal and available form of online gambling in the US, currently offered in more than 30 US states.​

Churchill Downs CEO Bill Carstanjen said: "We have the unique opportunity to leverage our knowledge and experience operating the largest legal online horse racing wagering business in the US as we enter the iGaming and sports betting markets."

Richard Carter, chief executive officer of SBTech said the supplier was "thrilled" to be partnering with the racetrack owner, horse wagering and casino operator to introduce its technology platforms in the US. "We both share a deep commitment to technological innovation and excellence, and we look forward to working with them during this exciting time in the history of the US gaming market."