DraftKings Becomes Mane Client For TwinSpires

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Churchill Downs is expanding its TwinSpires B2B portfolio by signing another horse racing deal, this time with DraftKings.

DraftKings announced Tuesday it partnered with Churchill Downs Inc. to create DK Horse, a dedicated horse racing app. A standalone DK Horse app will launch in 21 markets ahead of the 149th Kentucky Derby in May 2023.

The DraftKings deal is the second for CDI’s TwinSpires B2B horse racing endeavor after announcing it was pulling out of online sports betting. CDI announced its first deal with FanDuel Sportsbook in September.

DraftKings horse racing plans

TwinSpires will provide advance deposit wagering (ADW) technology and pari-mutuel betting rights to CDI-owned and -controlled content over the multi-year deal. That includes the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks, as well as other horse racing content.

DraftKings intends eventually to integrate DK Horse into the sportsbook app product suite. DraftKings executives believe horse racing can be a strong addition to the DraftKings product line.

“We are excited to collaborate with Churchill Downs Incorporated, not only to give our existing customers an opportunity to engage with pari-mutuel horse wagering but also to acquire new customers efficiently during marquee horse racing moments,” DraftKings CEO Jason Robins said in a release. “Due to the structure of the agreement, we expect this new product offering to be immediately profitable.”

TwinSpires builds horse racing clientele

During an earnings call earlier this year, CDI announced it would wind down its online sports betting operation. Then in August, the company unveiled its B2B horse racing plans

FanDuel will begin paying for its technology and services in January, according to the companies’ earlier announcement. Now, DraftKings adds to the expanding base of sports betting customers with access to TwinSpires horse racing content.

“We believe the depth and quality of our online offering through TwinSpires is unmatched in horse racing,” CDI CEO Bill Carstanjen said in Tuesday’s release. “We are excited to establish this relationship with DraftKings and to deliver a full end-to-end white label ADW solution that will introduce their significant base of sports betting customers to horse wagering.”

No cannibalization for TwinSpires?

During earnings calls in August and October, Carstanjen said the B2B products will not cannibalize TwinSpires’ existing online horse racing business. In October, while further detailing the B2B plans, Carstanjen said the deals will provide them access to millions of additional customers.

“We know there are a lot more casual fans out there than there are more serious fans,” he said. “I do think this is a much bigger opportunity and better overall for the company.”

As TwinSpires builds out its new business, it continues to pull out of its existing online sports betting markets. In September, it transitioned its Michigan sports betting license to SI Sportsbook.