TwinSpires App Makes Pennsylvania Debut As Churchill Downs Says Goodbye To BetAmerica

Posted By Valerie Cross on April 21, 2021

As of April 20, the BetAmerica site in Pennsylvania is no more. That is because Churchill Downs Inc. is rebranding its online betting platforms to match its popular horse betting brand, TwinSpires.

The betting products tied to Presque Isle Downs in PA have had subpar results, regularly landing toward the bottom of revenue reports for both online sports betting and iGaming.

CDI will be hoping to turn that around in what has become a strong and bustling online gambling market in the Keystone State.

Churchill replaces BetAmerica with popular TwinSpires brand

A retail BetAmerica sportsbook opened at Presque Isle in summer 2019. An online sportsbook followed in Dec. 2019 with a BetAmerica online casino launching in Jan. 2020.

Of the 16 land-based sports betting establishments in Pennsylvania, BetAmerica ranked 12th in handle for March with $4.7 million. And while online betting apps take the majority of sports bets in PA (around 91%), that is not typically the case for BetAmerica.

In March, a healthy betting month thanks to the NCAA basketball tournament, BetAmerica’s online app underperformed.

BetAmerica sportsbook handle and revenue in March

  • Online: $1.4 million (30%), revenue -$14K
  • Retail: $3.3 million (70%), revenue $237K

PA sports betting handle totaled $560.3 million in March for total taxable revenue of $29.3 million. That puts BetAmerica’s market share under 1% in PA. Here’s a look at the state’s top operators.

Sports Betting OperatorTotal HandleTotal RevenueOnline HandleOnline RevenueRetail HandleRetail Revenue
Valley Forge Casino (FanDuel)$205.9 million$9.9 million$202.8 million$10.4 million$3.1 million($509,000)
The Meadows Casino (DraftKings)$118.4 million$6.3 million$116.6 million$6.0 million$1.8 million$252,000
Hollywood/Penn National (Barstool)$65.2 million$3.7 million$63.6 million$3.3 million$1.7 million$348,000
Hollywood Morgantown (BetMGM)$37.4 million$1.7 million$37.4 million$1.7 million$0$0
Rivers Pittsburgh (BetRivers)$30.7 million$2.1 million$24.8 million$1.3 million$5.9 million$800,000

Additionally, BetAmerica spent just $55K in promos in March, less than 0.5% of the total $11.7 million in promotional credits distributed by PA online sportsbooks.

TwinSpires PA app integrates horse betting, sports, and casino

This is not the first major pivot Churchill Downs has taken regarding its online products. Last year, CDI migrated its apps from the SBTech platform. The BetAmerica online casino switched to GAN while the sportsbook app moved to Kambi‘s platform.

At the time, Churchill Downs CEO Bill Carstanjen said: “BetAmerica will benefit from the proven excellence of these market-leading providers.”

New technology providers paved the way for Churchill’s total rebrand. And what better brand to adopt than CDI’s long-standing and trusted horse betting brand since 2007. At the time of the announcement, Bill Mudd, president and COO at Churchill Downs, explained the reasoning behind the change:

“Our TwinSpires brand has consistently delivered over 13 years and is associated with more than a century of wagering experience…That history and heritage offers a unique point of difference in a competitive space.”

Additionally, bringing sports and casino under the TwinSpires umbrella allows those two verticals to exist alongside horse betting within the same betting site and app. The integration allows for some obvious cross-sell opportunity between sports and horse betting, as well as casino players.

The timing of migrating to TwinSpires ahead of Churchill Downs’ most signature event, the Kentucky Derby, is not a coincidence. The Derby runs Saturday, May 1 and will be an optimal time for CDI to test out its new strategy. Unlike on other sports betting apps, big racing days could prove vital for new customer acquisition as well as handle and revenue for TwinSpires.

Churchill Downs looks to compete with TwinSpires PA

In addition to PA and Indiana, both of which rebranded on Tuesday, the TwinSpires sports betting app is also live in Colorado, Michigan, and Tennessee. That leaves BetAmerica New Jersey to join the rebranding soon.

CDI owns or operates retail gambling properties in eight US states, which should prove useful future market access as more states pass online betting legislation. In addition to its two properties in PA, Presque Isle Downs and Lady Luck Nemacolin, CDI is also in Mississippi, Louisiana, Ohio, Maryland, Maine, Florida, and Illinois, with racing properties also in Kentucky.

As far as its place in Pennsylvania, TwinSpires will look to make a bigger splash in the market.

Big racing days will be key for the success of the new integrated TwinSpires app. As will more marketing spend, especially in a competitive market like Pennsylvania.

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