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Churchill Making Some Online Moves?

With a near monopoly on online gambling in the US the last five or six years, we've often wondered why horse racing has seemed to not capitalize, or position themselves in it very well.

No matter what you think of the ideas, Churchill Downs Inc has begun to at least try.

Last month they announced "Luckity" a completely goofy game that is played online, (goofy, if you're a horseplayer, but people love dumb games).  Time will tell if it works or not, and if it is legal or not, but at the very least they are trying to explore this edge that horse racing has. Online gaming is a gazillion dollar business as we all know.

Yesterday Greg Hall dug up a note alluding that Churchill Downs is looking at exchange wagering.

It is difficult to innovate by funding new initiatives in horse racing, and it is fairly easy to see why. If a company like Churchill does something, funds it, and it works, down the line everyone and their brother (horsemen groups, government) wants some of the money it generates, because it's "horse racing" and that's the way it is, and always has been. Conversely, if they try something, fund it, and it fails, they're on the hook for the losses alone. Horse racing innovation, in many ways, is like the country of Albania, pre free-market reforms.

But, it seems Churchill has decided to take the gloves off, throw some caution to the wind, and explore the comparative advantage they have in online gaming. That is probably long overdue, and win or lose it is what the business has to do, and needs more of.




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