DK Horse, the horse betting app offered by DraftKings Sportsbook, is now available in California.
“It is a big deal for us to start to acquire some California customers,” Johnny Avello, director of race and sportsbook operations at DraftKings, told LSR Friday. “We will keep expanding as we can.”
Horse betting or sports betting customers?
In a conversation this summer, LSR asked if DK Horse was an avenue for DraftKings to create brand awareness in states without legal sports betting.
“That is not the way we are looking at it,” Avello said at the time. “We see it as getting into a state where horse racing is popular so we can offer our product. The game plan is to be in states where people are horseplayers and want to be betting horse racing.”
Playing a long game while short on specifics
Smaller field sizes, fewer races, and an unsettling increase in racing fatalities have marred horse racing this year. Horse racing hit 12 consecutive months of year-over-year handle declines in September.
While unable to share specifics ahead of third-quarter earnings, Avello told LSR DraftKings hopes to aid in horse racing’s turnaround.
“For us being new in the game, I think there is a huge upside for us,” he said. “We bring something new to the table but have not been able to show everything we can do in the future. I think we are going to make a difference in the overall game. We just need a little bit of time.”
Several sportsbooks launch horse betting apps
Four online sportsbooks launched horse racing apps recently:
Online gaming expansion has increased competition to offer a one-stop-shop gambling experience with sports, iGaming, and horse racing.
“We know that there are a lot of horseplayers out there with different providers. However, we bring something different to the table because of that (sports betting) crossover,” Avello said.
Popular horse betting app shows growth
TwinSpires, Churchill Downs Incorporated’s online horse racing platform, provides the technology behind DK Horse and FanDuel’s racing app.
CDI reported record third-quarter adjusted EBITDA during a call with investors last week. TwinSpires’ adjusted EBITDA reached $33.9 million in quarter three, up 9% compared to the prior-year quarter.
It also posted a $5 million revenue increase over the same quarter last year, up to $112.4 million.