DraftKings, Churchill Downs Collaborating on Horse Racing Betting

DraftKings, Churchill Downs Collaborating on Horse Racing Betting
Fact Checked by Jim Tomlin

DraftKings and Churchill Downs Inc., announced a collaboration Monday that would allow a sports wagering customer base to become better acquainted with horse racing. And horse bettors would align with one of the most prominent online sports gambling companies.

DraftKings will launch DK HORSE in the coming months as part of a partnership that will let DraftKings’ eligible customers bet on horse racing using a standalone branded app, according to a news release. Kentucky sports betting outside of pari-mutuel wagering is not yet legal.

DK HORSE will initially be available in 21 states, pending licensing and regulatory approvals. It is anticipated DK HORSE will be available for the 2023 Kentucky Derby scheduled for May 6. Next year’s Derby will be the 149th Run for the Roses and the first jewel in thoroughbred racing’s Triple Crown. We track Kentucky Derby odds in the lead up to the big race.

How DK HORSE Will Function

According to a news release explaining the multi-year agreement: “The initial launch of DK HORSE will require customers to sign up and deposit funds separate from that of their one account, one wallet tethered to the DraftKings Sportsbook, Casino and daily fantasy sports apps.”

There are plans to integrate DK HORSE into the DraftKings Kentucky Sportsbook product suite and those plans will be announced later.

“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. “Due to the structure of the agreement, we expect this new product offering to be immediately profitable.”

Under the agreement between the two companies, Churchill Downs Inc., will provide DraftKings pari-mutuel wagering rights to horse racing content owned or controlled by CDI. That includes, of course, the Kentucky Derby and the Kentucky Oaks, which is held the day before the Derby. CDI will also secure, for DraftKings, more horse racing content for DK HORSE.

Learn More: Kentucky Sportsbook Promos and Bonuses

Association with TwinSpires

TwinSpires, a DCI subsidiary, will provide advance deposit wagering (ADW) technology to DraftKings. For current horse racing fans, TwinSpires Racebook App is a familiar horse racing wagering platform.

“We believe the depth and quality of our online offering through TwinSpires is unmatched in horse racing,” Churchill Downs Inc. CEO Bill Carstanjen said. “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 racing wagering.”

If the state approves regulated sports wagering, DraftKings Kentucky Sportsbook will likely be among the Kentucky sports betting apps lining up to operate there.



Bill Ordine
Senior Journalist

Bill Ordine, senior journalist and columnist for BetKentucky.com, was a reporter and editor in news and sports for the Philadelphia Inquirer and Baltimore Sun for 25 years, and was a lead reporter on a team that was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Breaking News. Bill started reporting on casinos and gaming shortly after Atlantic City’s first gambling halls opened and wrote a syndicated column on travel to casino destinations for 10 years. He covered the World Series of Poker for a decade and his articles on gaming have appeared in many major U.S. newspapers, such as the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Miami Herald and others.

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