Churchill Downs

  • Churchill Downs Incorporated (CDI) has seen an overall 5% loss in the first quarter of 2020 when compared to 2019’s reports.
  • CDI facilities across the country have been closed because of COVID-19 and Calder Casino, the horse racing track in Miami that was slated for reopening will remain closed because of the virus.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The Coronavirus Pandemic has not been good for business with Churchill Downs Incorporated (CDI). For months they have been taking revenue hits due to the required closures of their locations to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Calder Casino, home to a frequented horse racing track in Miami, has had to suspend reopening its establishment as a result of the high number of cases of the virus being seen by the city.

This furthers the loss of revenue from the horse racing sector of CDI which is their bread and butter among all other offerings within the company.

Churchill Downs Revenue Reports

When people hear Churchill Downs, their minds typically go straight to horse races and betting on them at the multiple tracks owned by CDI nationwide. Their biggest event, of course, is the Kentucky Derby which was postponed this year and is expected to take place in September.

However, until it does, that’s all revenue that’s been lost for the business.

Adding to this unique situation is the idea that even if their biggest race of the year is done as scheduled, COVID-19 and its restrictions for attendance will severely affect the profits gained from the event.

With the loss, CDI will need to look toward its revenue stream for horse racing betting to help recoup a substantial amount of dividends that are expected to be lost when compared to previous years and their profit margins.

In 2019, Churchill Downs Racetrack’s one location alone brought in $274.2 million dollars in revenue from their horse racing wagers. This is where the Kentucky Derby takes place and can account for a high percentage of that revenue number.

However, first-quarter revenue for 2020 at the same establishment saw $23.8 million in horse betting revenue before being shut down.

They were up $2.4 million from the first quarter of 2019 and were slated to see a bigger year of revenue prior to the Coronavirus Pandemic. For nationwide profits, they have seen a loss of 5% in their recorded first-quarter numbers.

What’s Next?

Churchill Downs is flying blind when it comes to the reopening of their businesses because of COVID-19 and the rules of social distancing.

At this point in time, they are unable to properly estimate how much money will be lost for the fiscal year which ends in December because they have no timeline as to when they can officially reopen for business, with each state being affected differently by the pandemic.

“Our strong balance sheet and the deep experience and resilience of our team will enable us to emerge from these challenging times as a stronger company ready to execute on all of the growth opportunities we have shared with our investors,” said Bill Carstanjen, Chief Executive Officer of CDI.


“We look forward to the 146th Kentucky Derby on September 5th which will be a special day for all of us as we celebrate together once again this magical and iconic event after such a difficult period for our country.”

Calder’s racetrack in South Florida is just the latest casualty for Churchill Downs. While they had hoped to reopen in the Sunshine State to start seeing some income, COVID-19 has made it so that they are unable to do so.

In the meantime, CDI can put all of their efforts into the upcoming Kentucky Derby and its major horse betting profit potential to help turnaround the dismal numbers 2020 has given them thus far.

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