Expressing confidence about the future of pari-mutuel betting in the United States, Bill Carstanjen, CEO of Churchill Downs (NASDAQ: CHDN), has categorically denied the sale rumors surrounding their TwinSpires unit.
Carstanjen made this firm declaration during a discussion with CNBC’s Contessa Brewer at the Global Gaming Expo (G2E) in Las Vegas. He maintained that despite recurrent takeover rumors, TwinSpires, a robust online betting business, is not up for sale.
“TwinSpires is somewhat of a rarity. It’s a thriving online venture that continues to enlarge its profit margins,” Carstanjen informed the attendees of G2E, underlining the rare profitability of the online sports betting sector, where several operators have struggled to reach their breakeven point.
Speculations around the possible consolidation of TwinSpires have been making rounds since 2021. Yet, Carstanjen maintains a confident stance regarding the future of the online betting platform, which has been outperforming in horse race betting since 2007.
Carstanjen acknowledged that the initial assumption that the company’s expertise in horse racing wagers would seamlessly transfer into sports betting didn’t materialize as expected. He pointed out that the early phase of regulated sports wagering in the U.S. favored operators who could withstand significant losses.
“Opting for that long-term commitment wasn’t in alignment with our company’s strategy”, he shared with the G2E audience, signifying a calibrated approach of the company to sports wagering.
However, Churchill Downs hasn’t completely withdrawn from the sports betting sector. It has allied with other sportsbook operators like Fanatics, FanDuel, and Penn Entertainment for entering the Kentucky market.
In contrast with the concern expressed in a recent American Gaming Association (AGA) survey, which predicted a potential economic downturn, Carstanjen expressed optimism about the U.S. economy. He insisted that despite slight fluctuations, the U.S. economy remains strong.
“I’ve witnessed more worrisome times than the present. Things may not resemble how they were a year back, but the situation is pretty stable, pretty positive,” he stated at the G2E event.