Churchill Downs hits revenue record despite social casino slump

churchill-downs-social-casino-big-fish-twinspiresChurchill Downs Inc. posted record revenue in Q3 despite decreased activity in its social casino division.

Figures released Thursday show CDI revenue topping $303.4m in the three months ending September 30, an 8% year-on-year gain and a new CDI record. Adjusted earnings fell 7% to $67.3m while net income more than doubled to $8.7m.

The Big Fish Games online gaming division continued to be Churchill Downs top earner with revenue up 18% to $122.3m, although the division’s earnings fell nearly one-third to $23.4m, dragged down (in part) by $4.4m in extra spending on user acquisition.

The bulk of online revenue came from casual and mid-core free-to-play games, which shot up more than one-quarter to $51.8m. This helped offset a 7% decline in social casino bookings ($44.2m) and a 16% fall in premium games ($22.5m). The social casino operation saw an 8% increase in average paying users but a 14% decline in average bookings per paying user, suggesting some social casino whales either lost interest of defected to another provider.

Churchill Downs advance deposit wagering service saw revenue rise 9% to $55.1m as race betting handle rose 14.3%, outpacing the overall US thoroughbred industry growth by a hefty 13.5 percentage points.

Revenue at CDI’s land-based casino division was basically flat at $83m but earnings improved nearly 14% to $30.4m. Revenue was up at its Maine and Florida properties, while Mississippi and Kentucky suffered declines. CDI’s casino portfolio expanded in Q3 via the acquisition of Maryland’s Oceans Down property via a joint venture with Saratoga Casino Holdings.

Finally, Churchill Downs  formerly dominant terrestrial race betting division was also flat at $41.3m, while earnings nudged up one-third to a mere $400k. Sing it with me: the old grey mare just ain’t what she used to be…

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October 30, 2016: posted in News And Reviews No Comments

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