New Opportunities for Churchill Downs


Zach Combest

Sports betting being legalized could mean big things for betting in horse races like the Kentucky Derby.

Haley Grether, Copy Editor

Ahead of the race in sports betting.

On Monday, May 14,  the U.S. Supreme Court decided to overturn a federal law.

Said to be unconstitutional under the Tenth Amendment, a law prohibiting sports betting was done away with after the Supreme Court Decision on Monday. With this decision, many businesses choose to take advantage of their newly found opportunities for sports betting. The state that the court case was originated in, New Jersey, is said to be the first to legalize sports gambling. Places like Churchill Downs Inc. have already started to make changes after the law was overturned.

The decision to allow states to choose themselves if they should allow sports betting is a good opportunity for many companies. Churchill Downs announced that they would be entering into an arrangement with Golden Nugget Atlantic City to get in with the betting and sports gambling through online channels and in casinos in Pennsylvania, Mississippi and in New Jersey. They made this announcement quick,  in just two days after the U.S. Supreme Court made their decision to do away with a law the prohibited sports gambling.

Company shares have grown nearly five prevent after the announcement from the Supreme Court. With hopes that Churchill Downs is able to capitalize on the decision from the Supreme Court allowing states to make the decision to legalize sports gambling, many investors are bidding on the Churchill Downs stock.

The idea of sports gambling has brought different reactions from different people. Some people think the idea of sports gambling is a good idea whereas others view it as a bad decision. “I believe that sport based betting should not be legalized because it puts animals at risk (in reference to horse racing) and causes addiction which can result in loss of excessive amounts of money,” said sophomore Jonah Brown.

Many people view betting and gambling as an addiction and bad choice of money usage. “I don’t think that legalizing sports gambling would be a good idea, I know gambling can be a crippling addiction for some, and the legalization could only mean making the problem worse for many people,” said junior Noah VanDolah.

Through the agreement with Golden Nugget Atlantic City, Churchill Downs has the intentions of starting to accept wagers in early 2019 from New Jersey. Also, they are looking to get iGaming licenses and expects to allow sports betting in person at two casinos that are in Greenville and Vicksburg, Mississippi.

Churchill Downs has the country’s biggest platform for wagering online for horse racing, it is said that they plan to turn to SBTech to provide the company’s sports betting and iGaming platform. This will include apps for phones and a website.  

As a way generating tax revenue and to assist in the states underfunded pension plans for their government employees, some of the Kentucky lawmakers see the legalization of sports betting as particle solution.

The decision by the Supreme Court could have cleared the way for many opportunities for Churchill Downs and Louisville.


Haley Grether
Churchill Downs plans on taking advantage of the decision made by the Supreme Court to allow the states to decide whether or not to legalize sports betting.