Friday June 15,2012 : U.S. FIRM SEES GREAT ONLINE GAMBLING OPPORTUNITIES
Churchill Downs encouraged by popularity of its online wagering activities
Robert Evans, chief exec of the US racing company Churchill Downs Inc, told shareholders Thursday that the company sees great potential in its already popular online wagering operations.
The company posted record financial results for 2011, attributing the gains to growth in its casino gambling and online horse betting, and has aggressive plans to seek acquisitions in the year ahead.
“We continue to look closely at every casino that’s up for sale, as well as considering additional joint-venture opportunities," Evans said. "We have one of the strongest balance sheets among gaming companies, and we have the financial resources to do more deals.”
Evans said the company will continue to invest in its Twinspires.com account-wagering internet site. Online wagering has been a burgeoning element in the otherwise largely sluggish thoroughbred racing industry, he revealed.
Evans has grown the company where rivals are battling, introducing a mix of online gambling, night racing, and a blend of racing and broader entertainment that has brought the punters to the company courses.
“While the broad thoroughbred racing industry may be in decline, there is still a growing, profitable market for top-flight racing combined with entertainment,” Evans said, assuring investors that he plans to keep pushing for a change to the Kentucky Constitution to allow casino-style gambling at the state’s racetracks.
Churchill and other tracks say they are losing horses to states that supplement their prize money with revenues from slot machines.
Earlier this year Churchill Downs Inc. acquired the Bluff Media online gambling publishing group