Churchill Downs stands firm despite COVID restrictions

Reporting performance for the three months to September 30th, Churchill Downs Incorporated posted net revenue of $337.8m, a ten per cent year-on-year increase, as the group responded strongly to the COVID challenge.

“Our properties’ extensive operating protocols have been extremely effective and have allowed us to operate safely during the pandemic,” said Bill Carstanjen, CDI CEO, in a statement. “We have continued to refine and improve our efficiencies and safety protocols in the fourth quarter.” 

Net income increased threefold in the period compared to Q3 2019, jumping to $43.2m, while adjusted EBITDA also rose strongly, up 39 per cent to $121.9m.

Despite the successful reopening of all CDI properties, the Q3 numbers were still impacted by the rescheduling of the Kentucky Derby.

The iconic race is usually held at Churchill Downs at the beginning of May but, following the COVID-related shut down of racing in the US, this year took place in Q3 without spectators.

CDI also saw a marked increase in online wagering operations in the third quarter of the year, with net revenue rising to $126.4m, up from $70.4m a year prior. Adjusted EBITDA more than doubled from Q3 2019, coming in at $31.9m. 

The leap in revenue was almost entirely attributable to the growth of CDI’s online betting operation,, which posted a $54.1m increase in revenue.