Online wagering helps Churchill Downs

Posted at 12:15 PM, May 07, 2020

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (LEX 18) — Horses are preparing to get back on the track at Churchill Downs, and even though gates are closed to fans, online betting is open for business.

Officials hope that will turn a big profit for the track.

The backside at Churchill Downs will begin allowing horses on May 11, and racing will begin without fans on May 16.

The union representing the people who work for the betting windows at Churchill Downs have not been notified yet, if or when their members will be coming back to work.

"Ultimately we need to have live racing, but in the interim, we are best suited of all the sports properties really to conduct our business without fans, because of the online wagering component, the ability to wager from home where people feel safe," said Alex Waldrop, National Thoroughbred Racing Association President.

Churchill Downs officials are pointing to April numbers from online wagering at other tracks as a sign of pent-up demand and hope it will be replicated when racing begins in a few days.