Churchill Downs Inc. (CDI) announced Thursday that it has entered into a multi-year agreement with FanDuel Group, with the partnership involving FanDuel’s sports wagering, advance deposit wagering and television platforms.
The agreement will also incorporate wagering rights to horse racing content, a non-exclusive Kentucky Derby sponsorship and some television and media rights, according to a news release. Kentucky sports betting has not been legalized, but FanDuel is live in many other states with legal sports wagering.
Churchill Downs hosts the Kentucky Derby on the first Saturday in May.
In February, CDI announced that it was shutting down its TwinSpires Sportsbook and casino platforms to put more of an emphasis on horse racing.
FanDuel’s customers will be able to place pari-mutuel wagers on horse racing on its own sports wagering and advance deposit wagering platforms through technology and services provided by CDI. CDI will also authorize wagers on its own horse racing content through FanDuel in the U.S., the release said.
The deal also gives FanDuel television and media rights to broadcast Churchill Downs-owned racing content on FanDuel's new television network.
‘Creating New Audiences for Horse Racing’
FanDuel TV and FanDuel+ were launched in August. In addition to receiving rights to CDI horse racing content and customary fees on CDI-owned content, FanDuel will have television rights to the racing content of all CDI thoroughbred racetracks, the release said.
“With the launch of FanDuel TV last week and the upcoming integration of premier racing content into our market-leading sports book, we believe this is an inflection point in our ability to offer our customers a seamless wagering experience with a single wallet,” FanDuel CEO Amy Howe said in the release. “We are especially pleased that we will be able to offer wagering on the most exciting two minutes in sports, the Kentucky Derby, and that we will have exclusive broadcast rights to the Churchill Downs Incorporated family of tracks on FanDuel TV.
"We look forward to creating new audiences for horse racing."
Betting on the 2022 Kentucky Derby set a handle record with the $179 million total, an 8% increase over the $165.5 million record set in 2019. Longshot (80-1 odds) Rich Strike won the May race.
‘Seamlessly Deliver Horse Racing Content’
Starting in January, FanDuel will pay for CDI technology and services, which are provided by United Tote Co., for pari-mutuel wagering on FanDuel’s U.S. platforms.
“We look forward to working with FanDuel to deliver premium horse racing content to their expansive base of sports wagering customers,” Churchill Downs CEO Bill Carstanjen said in the release. “We are confident that FanDuel’s market approach teamed with our expertise and technology will seamlessly deliver horse racing content and pari-mutuel wagering solutions to a significant number of new fans.”
In August, Churchill Downs entered an agreement to sell 49% of United Tote to the New York Racing Association's subsidiary NYRA Content Management Solutions. That deal is set to be finalized by the end of the year.
When Kentucky sports betting apps are legalized, expect FanDuel Sportsbook to be an early leader in the state.