Derby Wagering Second-Highest of All Time Despite Rain

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It was a memorable and rainy 139th running of the $2 million Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands as 151,616 enthusiastic fans weathered the consistent, heavy rains at Churchill Downs to watch Kentucky-bred Orb cover a sloppy track and win the garland of roses that go to the winner of America’s greatest race.

Wagering from all-sources on the Kentucky Derby race card totaled $184.6 million, a decrease of 1 percent from 2012’s all-time record, which totaled $187.0 million. All-sources wagering on the Kentucky Derby race was down 2 percent from $133.1 million to $130.5 million. Both were the second-highest of all time.

On-track wagering on the Derby decreased 7 percent from $12.3 million to $11.5 million, a result of the steady, cold rain that continued throughout the day. On-track wagering on the Derby program decreased 11 percent from $23.7 million to $21.1 million.

Churchill Downs returned $150.6 million to bettors, which amounts to 81.6 percent of total wagering on the Derby Day race card. Additionally, purses earned from the Derby Day race card approximated $8.2 million that will be paid out to horsemen during the remainder of the 2013 racing meets.

Finally, pari-mutuel taxes in the amount of $0.7 million were generated from the Derby Day race card, which will be paid to the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

Additionally, approximately $1.6 million of handle from separate pools on the Derby Race has already been reported. Total separate pool handle on the Derby Day race card during 2012 totaled $1.4 million.

“Our preliminary and still subject to change estimate of $4.5 – 6.5 million growth in EBITDA, despite exceptionally dismal weather on both Opening Night and Kentucky Derby Day, demonstrates the economic growth potential of this iconic American spectacle,” said Robert L. Evans, Chairman and CEO of Churchill Downs Incorporated.

For Derby Day, TwinSpires.com handle on all racing totaled a record $19.5 million, up 11 percent over $17.5 million in 2012. For the Derby race itself, handle totaled a record $10 million on TwinSpires.com, up 10 percent from $9.1 million in 2012.

The new Kentucky Derby app, “DerbyMe,” was downloaded by 55,500 people.

Derby Nation on Facebook now totals a record 258,000 people, up 24 percent over last year. Total unique visitors to KentuckyDerby.com and KentuckyOaks.com over Derby weekend totaled 2.3 million, up 35 percent over last year. Of the over 250,000 unique visitors, 55 percent visited using their mobile device.

All-sources handle for Opening Night, Saturday April 27, through Derby Day, Saturday, May 4, 2013, was $258.5 million, up 2 percent over 2012’s $253.6 million. Attendance for those five days was down 5 percent to 331,922 from 350,975 in 2012, with attendance declines on rainy Opening Night and Derby Day accounting for the overall decline.

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  • wallyhorse

    Very good numbers, especially when you consider parts of the midwest and south have been absolutely HAMMERED by rain and snow in the last two weeks (including the first-ever MAY snowstorms in many areas).

    One thing I would be seriously looking at if I’m at NBC for the 2014 Kentucky Derby telecast: Asking Churchill Downs to go to an 8:25-8:30 PM ET post for the Derby so NBC can air the Derby telecast from 6:00-9:00 PM ET and follow it immediately afterwards with a special Saturday edition of “The Voice” (which has been beating “Dancing With The Stars” on Mondays and Tuesdays) from 9:00-11:00 PM ET using the lead-in from the Derby to create a huge night that normally has ratings way downstairs. That’s the kind of “extra” night that can vault NBC out of its ratings doldrums and move it up during the “May Sweeps.”

  • blandes

    just think what these numbers would have been if Louisville Trackside or drive thru betting would have been opened!

    • http://twitter.com/Joeaveragefan Joeaveragefan

      Or if TVG hadn’t had a complete website failure for most of the afternoon including several hours leading up to the Derby.

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