- Slot Machines
- Video Poker
The horse racing industry has been loosing revenues for the past little while mainly due to the decline in numbers attending the track. In an effort to boost funds and offer better purses to owners and patrons race tracks have been introducing what are commonly known as racinos or casinos attached to racing facilities.
Churchill Downs a famous race track in the USA has diversified and is offering casino gaming at it’s grounds and also online betting via computers at other tracks. About 90 percent of Churchill Downs revenues in 2006 came from racing but in 2010, that number was down to slightly more than 40 percent with gaming right behind at just below 40 percent. The company’s other 20 percent of revenues came from its online operations, mostly TwinSpires.com.
Gaming will likely surpass racing in revenues at Churchill this year and now both chambers of the Illinois legislature have approved added gambling at tracks although the legislation still needs the governor’s signature. Churchill would add slot machines at Arlington Park as well as its Quad City Downs, currently an off-track betting outlet that could operate as a Standardbred racino if more diverse gaming is approved in the state.
Shareholders of Churchill Downs Inc. were told at the annual shareholders meeting that there are still success stories for the races despite a reliance on other revenue sources. Churchill commented that adding slot machines at its Illinois properties would give the company about 5,500 total machines. It was suggested that such an addition would help boost Arlington purses and it was added that such a boost potentially could impact the number of horses located at Churchill Downs.
As in other parts of the world horse racing has been in decline and expenses to keep up tracks and purses keep climbing the hunt for alternate ways of gaining revenues also continues. Online betting has filled the gap for some and online operators in places like Ireland are making an effort to support the Sport of Kings and keep it alive and vital.