Churchill Downs Finds New Horses in Kambi, GAN for PA Online Gaming Platforms

Written By Kevin Shelly on July 7, 2020 - Last Updated on September 26, 2020
Churchill Downs moving PA gaming platforms to GAN and Kambi

Churchill Downs plans to move its BetAmerica online gambling brand onto a GAN platform and a Kambi sportsbook.

BetAmerica’s offerings include a casino, sportsbook and horse betting.

The company has used the SBTech platform and sportsbook for its BetAmerica brand.

BetAmerica was lagging the field

But the BetAmerica brand “has made relatively limited headway to date in New Jersey and Pennsylvania,” according to a recent article in OnlinePokerReport, a sister publication of PlayPennsylvania.

In February, BetAmerica was last in terms of handle and revenue among PA sportsbooks. Its online casino was likewise last that month, the last full month before virus disruptions.

Churchill a new player in the PA market

Churchill Downs is relatively new to the PA market.

While better known for horse racing, Churchill announced plans to enter the Pennsylvania gaming market in August 2018, assuming the operation of Lady Luck Casino Nemacolin and buying Presque Isle Downs & Casino. But the Presque Isle buy took until January 2019 to complete.

BetAmerica knocked offline by an attack on SBTech

The BetAmerica sportsbook and casino were offline for more than a week in late March, the result of a cyberattack on SBTech.

Not only was SBTech slow to get back online after the attack, it also was not transparent with customers about the issue. The attack also took down New Jersey online sites operated via SBTech, sportsbooks for Resorts and Golden Nugget.

SBTech bought by BetAmerica rival

There is also the fact that a rival now owns SBTech. DraftKings has bought the company, meaning any growth from BetAmerica would also benefit a rival operator.

During a recent earnings call, GAN said it has an incoming Tier 1 client that could generate $300-400 million in annual revenue within three years.

Gan CEO Dermot Smurfit also said the deal would displace an existing US B2B provider, and the new product could be deployed in Michigan, Tennessee and Illinois. Churchill Downs’ footprint is a match.

GAN’s GameStack platform is already live in the US. Multiple services can integrate into the software, including Kambi’s. And Kambi is on Wednesday’s PGCB meeting agenda to upgrade its PA sports wagering operator license from conditional to full.

Churchill Downs, DraftKings, GAN and Kambi had declined to comment to OPR.

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Kevin Shelly

Kevin C. Shelly is an award-winning career journalist who has spent most of his career in South Jersey. He's the former assistant city editor of The Press of Atlantic City, where he covered the casino industry and Atlantic City government as a reporter. He was also an investigative, narrative enterprise, and features reporter for Gannett’s Courier-Post.

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