Through Presque Isle Downs

CDI inks deal to provide bet365 with online sports betting, iGaming market access in Pennsylvania

Bill Carstanjen, CEO of Churchill Downs.
Reading time 1:51 min

Churchill Downs Incorporated announced Monday that its wholly-owned subsidiary Presque Isle Downs & Casino has entered into a multi-year agreement with bet365 for online sports betting and iGaming market access in Pennsylvania.

Bill Carstanjen, CEO of Churchill Downs, commented: “We are pleased to partner with a global leader in the online gaming industry. Our relationship with bet365 enables us to maximize the value of our company’s sports betting and iGaming market access in Pennsylvania.”

The bet365 agreement is consistent with Churchill Downs’ strategy to exit the online sports and casino business, monetize the company’s online sports and iGaming market access rights and remain focused on growing the TwinSpires online horse racing wagering business, said the company in a press statement.

Completion of the deal is subject to necessary regulatory approvals. It further expands bet365's presence in the US: while the brand is the world's largest sports betting operator at annual revenues of nearly $4 billion, its presence in the US is still relatively small.

bet365 currently operates only in Ohio, New Jersey and Colorado, and is also licensed in Ontario, Canada, for iGaming and sports betting. Back in November, the operator signed a deal with Raynham Park for rights to a sports betting license in Massachusetts, pending regulatory approvals.

Presque Isle Downs & Casino.

A bet365 spokesperson said: “Off the heels of our launch in Ohio, we are thrilled to announce our partnership with Churchill Downs Incorporated. Once live, the world’s favorite online sports betting brand will be available to sports fans in Pennsylvania, offering fantastic site features, including Bet Boosts, Same Game Parlay, Cash Out and Edit Ben, on top of our market-leading sign-up offer.”

Pennsylvania represents an attractive opportunity for bet365 given its status as a major US market for sports betting and iGaming. It is the fifth most populous state in the country and the largest state that allows online gaming.

As for CDI, Pennsylvania is, along with Arizona, one of the last states in which it still offers online gaming through its TwinSpires brand after officials announced last February plans to exit the sports betting and online casino markets as they could not see a secure path to profitability. The company does, however, plan to continue operating retail sportsbooks.

What CDI is focused on, though, is its leading position in the Historical Horse Racing segment. Back in December, Churchill Downs announced it had entered into a definitive agreement to acquire all outstanding equity interests of Exacta Systems for total consideration of $250 million in cash, to support its HHR operations. 

Subject to certain working capital and other purchase price adjustments, the transaction is set to provide CDI the opportunity to realize synergies related to the company’s recent acquisition of Colonial Downs Racetrack and Rosie’s Gaming Emporium HRM facilities in Virginia.

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