October 11, 2023 3 min read


Churchill Downs Boss Denies TwinSpires Sale in the Cards

Speaking about the success of its online horseracing betting arm at G2E, Churchill Downs' CEO, Bill Carstanjen, revealed that TwinSpires is not for sale

On Tuesday, an interesting panel of the Global Gaming Expo (G2E) took place, a “View From the Top” keynote that included CNBC’s Contessa Brewer and representatives of three major gaming and entertainment companies, Entain’s chief executive, Jette Nygaard-Andersen, MGM Resorts International’s CEO, Bill Hornbuckle, and Bill Carstanjen, CEO of Churchill Downs Incorporated (CDI). Brewer spoke about the recent opening of The Sphere and the Formula 1 Las Vegas Grand Prix scheduled to take place this month. Yet, she also mentioned the recent unprecedented cyberattacks against MGM Resorts and Caesars.

Participating in the discussion, Carstanjen spoke about the potential of pari-mutuel wagering across the United States. Back in 2021, rumors suggested that CDI may be considering a possible sale of its online betting arm, TwinSpires. At the time, it was suggested that the transaction may be north of $1 billion. However, at G2E’s recent keynote session, CDI’s CEO rejected such claims.

Confirming that TwinSpires is not for sale, Carstanjen addressed some of the challenges CDI met within the sports betting vertical. After operating for nearly two decades, TwinSpires was expected to easily enter the betting vertical. However, Carstanjen said that CDI found out that the competitive betting vertical is likely to favor only a select few operators that were able to sustain short-term losses.

He explained: “That just wasn’t the way our company was gonna go. The long haul you needed to sign up for just didn’t feel right to us.” Additionally, Carstanjen praised the success of TwinSpires, acknowledging the business’ unique position. According to him, TwinSpires is currently a very profitable business that is constantly growing.

Despite Ongoing Uncertainties, CDI’s CEO Remains Optimistic

The recent G2E session comes at a time when recently, Israel decreased war on Hamas, the Palestinian militant group. Addressing the recent events, Brewer warned about the cost-of-living crisis and the possible recession. Addressing those concerns, Carstanjen was optimistic, saying: “It’s still a strong economy.” He pointed out that he has been through more difficult and concerning times than now. “Things are not quite what they were a year or so ago. There seems to have been some settling down, but things are pretty darn solid, pretty darn good,” added Carstanjen.

Earlier this year, CDI temporarily suspended racing operations at Churchill Downs Racetrack. This decision came after a number of equine deaths that resulted in an investigation. The temporary suspension was lifted in mid-September when CDI resumed the regularly scheduled meets.


Jerome is a welcome new addition to the Gambling News team, bringing years of journalistic experience within the iGaming sector. His interest in the industry begun after he graduated from college where he played in regular local poker tournaments which eventually lead to exposure towards the growing popularity of online poker and casino rooms. Jerome now puts all the knowledge he's accrued to fuel his passion for journalism, providing our team with the latest scoops online.

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