2:22pm

Tue May 8, 2012
Business and the Economy

Online Wagers Boost Earnings for Churchill Downs

Officials with Churchill Downs Incorporated say increased Internet wagering has boosted first quarter earnings. CDI gained $1.3 million in the first three months of this year. CDI officials say because of the lack of live racing days it’s common to see losses in first quarter earnings, but CDI’s Chief Financial Officer Bill Mudd said there has been a 5 percent increase in wagering nationwide and CDI has always been ahead of the game.

“If you look at what we’ve done historically, we’ve been out performing the industry by about 10 percentage points,” said Mudd.

The primary revenue generator for the company is its online betting website TwinSpires.com, which Mudd said saw a 15 percent increase over last year’s first quarter.

“We spend a lot of time on our technology platform, and I think we have the best technology platform out there,” said Mudd.

Much of the betting that contributes to this happens in the weeks leading up to the Kentucky Derby, he said.

This year, the Derby set a record attendance  with 165,000 and record wagering at $187 million, a 13 percent increase from last year.