BUSINESS

Social casino, online horse betting drives Churchill Downs Inc to record revenue

TAGs: big fish games, Churchill Downs Inc, churchill downs incorporated, social gaming, Twinspires

churchill-downs-twinspires-big-fish-gamesChurchill Downs Inc’s social gaming and online wagering operations were credited with delivering record revenues in the company’s Q3 results.

Total revenue in the three months ending Sept. 30 rose 61% to $279.8m, while total adjusted earnings more than doubled to $70.6m. Actual earnings were up a more modest 19% to $4.2m once CDI factored in costs associated with the $885m acquisition of social and mobile gaming operator Big Fish Games in November 2014.

Big Fish Games contributed revenue of $103.5m and adjusted earnings of $33.3m in Q3. The social casino division generated revenue of $47.4m, up 8% from the same period last year (before CDI make its big buy). Average bookings per paying user rose 9% although the number of average paying users fell 1%.

The Free-to-Play Casual segment reported bookings of $40.3m, more than quadruple the sum in Q3 2014. CDI credited the improvement to the ongoing success of its Gummy Drop! game and the launch of Dungeon Boss, which was selected as an Editor’s Choice game on both Apple iTunes and Google Play stores. CDI’s Premium games segment continued to decline, with bookings down 17% to $26.7m.

CDI’s online horse wagering business TwinSpires saw betting handle rise 9.4% to $245.5m, easily outpacing the overall industry’s quarterly growth rate of 5.7%. TwinSpires revenue was up 9% to $50.3m as unique player ranks rose 23% and new player registrations rose nearly two-thirds. TwinSpires adjusted earnings rose 24% to $13.8m despite higher pari-mutuel taxes in some states.

In contrast, CDI’s mainstay racing operations saw racing handle fall 16% to $238m due to reduced activity at its Arlington International track. Revenue fell 5% to $38.9m while adjusted earnings came to a mere $300k.

CDI’s brick-and-mortar casino ops were basically flat year-on-year, with revenue nudging up 1% to $82.7m and earnings rising $100k to $25m.

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