Friday April 25 ,2014 : ONLINE OPERATIONS AN IMPORTANT GROWTH AREA FOR RACING COMPANY
Kentucky's Churchill Downs discusses its growing interest in the online channel.
At a press conference following the release of the company's latest quarterly results Thursday the management of Churchill Downs revealed that the online wagering channel was an important element in plans for the future growth of the business.
Chairman and CEO Bob Evans told the Courier-Journal newspaper that the medium has been identified as an important future growth area for the company if state-by-state and federal questions regarding its legality can be resolved.
"We believe that over time the Internet gaming market in the U.S. will develop into a significant opportunity for us and for others as well, of course," Evans said.
"We plan to be a significant player in that. We'll continue to make the investments at about the current rate, at least through the rest of this year, in building the technology platform, which I think we've got some real advantages in. And we've got a long-term view on this.
"We can't make states legalize Internet gaming any faster than they would otherwise. But as that occurs, we want to be a player."
Chief Financial Officer Bill Mudd said the company spent $1.1 million in each of the last two quarterly reporting periods on platform development.
Revenue from online gambling operations in Q1 was $46.1 million, up 7 percent, and revenue from racing operations was $30.6 million, up 10 percent.
Management reported that the company's account-wagering site, Twinspires.com, was up 8.8 percent in the quarter, at a time when the racing industry is struggling overall. Twinspires.com had handle of approximately $1 billion in 2013 – almost 10 percent of all handle in the United States, making the account-wagering company the online market leader.