Churchill Downs Offers Bet365 Path Into Pennsylvania

Written By Derek Helling on January 11, 2023
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Churchill Downs is set to monetize the online gaming segment of its Presque Isle Downs & Casino property again. As a result, players could soon have access to the bet365 online Pennsylvania casino and sportsbook product that gamblers in other states are enjoying.

The two companies announced their agreement on Tuesday. It represents possible entry into a major new market for bet365. For Churchill Downs, it’s the fruition of the company’s strategy for the online gambling space.

Bet365 online casino eyeing a prime market

According to a press release, the agreement between bet365 and Churchill Downs covers multiple years. It gives bet365 the necessary market access to apply for online casino and sports betting licenses in Pennsylvania.

Once approved, bet365 will begin competing for gamblers’ attention in arguably the most lucrative market for online casino operators in the United States. In November 2022, Pennsylvania online casinos broke their record by reporting $155.9 million in gross revenue.

It’s unclear how quickly bet365 might receive the necessary approval to go live in Pennsylvania. As soon as it happens, though, it will mean Presque Isle Downs will again collect some revenue from online gambling.

Churchill Downs takes passive approach to online gambling revenue

Over the past several months, Presque Isle Downs hasn’t made much off the ability to offer online gambling under Pennsylvania law. That’s because Churchill Downs shuttered the online casino and sports betting segments of its Twinspires platform.

As Churchill Downs CEO Bill Carstanjen explained in the press release, the deal with bet365 enables the company to monetize its license. In turn, that leaves Churchill Downs to maintain its focus on the horse race betting segment of its online business.

For bet365, Pennsylvania will represent a fourth active market, assuming regulatory approval. The company offers online sports betting in Colorado and Ohio while making that and online casino play available in New Jersey.

Pennsylvania could be the strongest market for online slots and table games, though. Both bet365 and Churchill Downs are ready to capitalize on that opportunity.

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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is a lead writer for PlayUSA. Helling focuses on breaking news, including legislation and litigation in the gaming industry. He enjoys reading hundreds of pages of a gambling bill or lawsuit for his audience. Helling completed his journalism degree at the University of Iowa.

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