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Home / Articles

Churchill Downs: From Racetrack to Empire

22 Jun, 2024
Written by
Elizaveta Latinskaya
Elizaveta Latinskaya
Reviewed by
Aigerim Ercik
Aigerim Ercik
Churchill Downs: From Racetrack to Empire

History and Leadership

Churchill Downs Incorporated (CDI) is an American company best known for its namesake racetrack, where the famous Kentucky Derby is held annually. Founded in 1875, the company began its journey with the racetrack in Louisville, Kentucky, and for more than a century, it has remained a symbol of American horse racing. Over time, CDI transformed into a multi-sector corporation encompassing casinos, online gaming, and various entertainment events.


The company’s leadership plays a key role in its successful development. Currently, the CEO is Bill Carstanjen, who assumed this position in 2014. Under his guidance, the company has significantly expanded its operations and strengthened its market position in the gambling and entertainment industries. The leadership team also includes experienced professionals such as Marcel Zangrando, Chief Financial Officer (CFO), and Casey Clark, Chief Operating Officer (COO).

Past Goals and Achievements

In recent years, CDI has set several ambitious goals:

  1. Expanding the network of casinos and racetracks: CDI actively acquired new properties, including major casinos and racetracks, significantly increasing its geographical presence.
  2. Developing online betting platforms: The launch and development of the TwinSpires platform for online betting on horse racing and sports events were important milestones in the company’s history. This allowed CDI to enter the rapidly growing online gaming market and provide customers with new convenient betting options.
  3. Improving customer experience: CDI focused heavily on enhancing the customer experience by implementing new technologies and services for its visitors.
  4. Financial stability and revenue growth: The company focused on increasing profits and improving operational efficiency, allowing it to maintain a stable financial position even during economic upheavals.

Achieved Results

  • Network expansion: The company successfully integrated new properties such as Arlington International Racecourse and Fair Grounds Race Course, increasing revenue and attracting new customers.
  • TwinSpires online platform: TwinSpires has become one of the leading online betting platforms in the U.S., significantly boosting the company’s online segment revenue.
  • Financial growth: CDI has demonstrated steady revenue and profit growth, positively impacting its stock price and investor confidence.

Sales by Activity

Churchill Downs Incorporated conducts business in several key areas:

  1. Racetracks: Organizing and hosting horse races, including the famous Kentucky Derby, which attracts thousands of spectators and generates significant revenue.
  2. Casinos and slot machines: CDI operates several casinos in various states, which are an important source of income for the company.
  3. Online betting: The TwinSpires platform offers betting on horse races and sports events, which became particularly relevant during the COVID-19 pandemic when many offline events were restricted.
  4. Entertainment events: The company organizes various entertainment events and shows, attracting visitors to its properties and creating additional revenue streams.

Sales by Platform

  • Racetracks: The main revenue comes from horse races, especially the Kentucky Derby, which is the company’s flagship event.
  • Casinos and slot machines: A vital business segment that generates steady income through the management of major casinos.
  • Online betting: A rapidly growing segment that attracts more customers due to the convenience and accessibility of the TwinSpires online platform.
  • Entertainment events: An additional revenue source that attracts visitors and boosts the company’s overall income.

CDI Stock

Stock Sale and Price

Churchill Downs Incorporated is a publicly traded company with shares listed on NASDAQ under the ticker CHDN. As of today, CDI shares continue to show strong growth. The market value of the shares reflects the successful achievement of strategic goals and the stable financial position of the company.

Stock Growth Dynamics

CDI shares have shown significant growth in recent years, resulting from successful business initiatives and investor confidence. Key factors contributing to the stock growth include:

  1. Successful acquisitions and business expansion: CDI actively expanded its network of casinos and racetracks, positively impacting revenue and stock price.
  2. Online segment development: The increasing popularity of online betting through the TwinSpires platform contributed to revenue growth and enhanced the company’s attractiveness to investors.
  3. Stable financial growth: The company demonstrates a stable financial position and profit growth, positively affecting the stock price.

Prospects and Forecasts

Strategic Expansion

CDI continues to actively expand its operations. In the coming years, the company plans to open new casinos and racetracks, as well as improve the infrastructure of existing properties. Expanding geographical presence and increasing the number of properties will allow the company to attract more customers and increase revenue.

Development of the Online Gaming Segment

One of CDI’s key development areas is further strengthening its position in the online gaming market. The company plans to invest significant funds in the development and enhancement of the TwinSpires platform, as well as expanding the range of online services offered. Given the growing popularity of online gambling, such measures can significantly boost CDI’s competitiveness.

Innovations and Technologies

CDI is also actively investing in new technologies and innovative solutions. The introduction of advanced technologies in customer service, security, and analytics will allow the company to improve the customer experience and increase operational efficiency. In the future, this may lead to a significant increase in customer loyalty and revenue growth.

Sustainable Development

In light of the growing focus on sustainable development and social responsibility, CDI also plans to pay more attention to these aspects. The company has already begun implementing environmentally friendly technologies and programs aimed at reducing negative environmental impact. Sustainable development will become an important element of the company’s strategy in the coming years.

Financial Forecasts

Analysts predict further growth in CDI’s financial indicators. Stable revenue growth, increased operating profit, and prudent cost management will allow the company to maintain high profitability and attractiveness to investors. In the coming years, CDI’s stock price is expected to continue rising, reflecting the successful achievement of strategic goals and positive financial forecasts.

Final Thoughts

Churchill Downs Incorporated has come a long way from a small racetrack to a multi-sector corporation. Thanks to strong leadership, strategic acquisitions, and the development of online business, the company demonstrates stable financial growth and an increase in stock value. CDI remains one of the leading players in the U.S. gambling and entertainment market, continuing to delight its customers and investors with new successes and achievements. The company’s prospects look promising, and further success and growth can be expected in the future.

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