Churchill Downs Inc. is allegedly exploring deals, including a potential sale of its sports betting unit TwinSpires. The sportsbook is the official betting partner of the Kentucky Derby and is now live in eight states, following its recent launch in New Jersey.
According to Bloomberg, people familiar with the matter said the Kentucky-based company is “working with an adviser” to solicit potential interest in the wagering platform. The business’ shares rose on the news, to an intraday high of $236.26.
TwinSpires could fetch about $1.5 billion in any transaction, sources told the previously cited news source. However, the people cautioned that no final decision had yet been made, and that Churchill Downs could continue to own the platform. Representatives for the company have not commented on the rumors so far.
Led by Chief Executive Officer Bill Carstanjen, Churchill Downs has a market value of $8.8 billion. Its TwinSpires app allows bettors to place wagers online, while the sportsbook also counts with retail locations across the country.
In late October, Churchill Downs reported TwinSpires Horse Racing delivered Adjusted EBITDA of $31.2 million in Q3, up 56% from the same quarter 2019. The sportsbook’s handle for the quarter grew 31% versus 2019.
TwinSpires focused for many years on pari-mutuel horse racing betting, with Churchill Downs describing it as the “premier online horse racing wagering platform” in the US. It now also allows for betting in other sporting events.
TwinSpires offers online sportsbook operations in Arizona, Colorado, Indiana, Michigan, News Jersey, Pennsylvania and Tennessee. Moreover, it offers retail sports betting in Colorado, Indiana, Mississippi, Pennsylvania and Arizona. The brand also has online casinos in Michigan, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
News of its launch in the Garden State were delivered earlier this week, with TwinSpires offering New Jerseyans sign-up promotions and the opportunity to be eligible for up to $1,000 in bonus bets. Its online casino product was also launched, along with the sportsbook.
"As the official wagering partner of the Kentucky Derby, many sports fans in New Jersey will already be familiar with the TwinSpires brand and its long history with the greatest two minutes in sports," said TwinSpires VP Marketing, Sean Phinney. "We are excited to leverage nearly 150 years of wagering history within the United States to offer New Jerseyans our state-of-the-art online sports betting and iGaming products, promotions and offers."