Churchill Downs is ready to become the fifth sportsbook operator in the newly regulated Tennessee sports betting market as the state conditionally approved the operators license on Wednesday under the Volunteer State’s unique online-only sports betting program.
Though a Sports Wagering Committee of the Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation approved Churchill Down’s license, regulators are yet to authorize the launch. The Committee is scheduled to meet again later this month. Additionally, Lottery CEO Rebecca Hargrove said some steps remain before Tennessee’s fifth sportsbook’s launch as the Churchill Down’s sportsbook, BetAmerica, is rebranding as TwinSpires.
Tennessee Sports Betting So Far
Tennessee sports betting was legalized in 2019 for individuals 21 and older who are physically present in the Volunteer State while placing a wager. When it was launched on November 1, 2020, only four sportsbook operators – DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM, and Tennessee Action 24/7 – were granted the license. Following the recent conditional licensing approval for Churchill Downs, this number will soon increase to five.
Despite having roots in land-based casino and horse racing industries, Churchill Downs has enhanced its focus on its sports betting expansion. Tennessee would be the seventh state where it will offer its online sports betting services. The company already has a presence in New Jersey, Colorado, Indiana, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, and Michigan.
Another meeting planned by Tennessee officials late this month will potentially allow more applicants to launch ahead of the Super Bowl, Hargrove said.
Churchill Downs Rebrands BetAmerica to TwinSpires
Earlier this week, Churchill Downs Incorporated announced it would move to a single brand strategy for its digital wagering segment by rebranding its BetAmerica sportsbook and iGaming platform as TwinSpires. Churchill Downs’ transition from BetAmerica to TwinSpires will begin with its online sportsbook and iGaming launch in Michigan later in January, pending regulatory approval.
Although Tennessee officials approved the company’s BetAmerica brand, Churchill Downs will operate in the state under TwinSpires following the company’s plans for a rebrand. Therefore, the operator will need to rebrand ahead of the Tennessee launch. BetAmerica retail and online sportsbooks operating in other states will also transition to the TwinSpires brand during this financial year.
Churchill Downs’ Proud History with TwinSpires
Churchill Downs Incorporated has been utilizing the TwinSpires brand for its online pari-mutuel wagering business since 2007. TwinSpires is broadly known within the digital betting world for its access to premier global horse racing content, almost 150 years of wagering history for handicapping races, and one-of-its-kind customer experiences at the Kentucky Derby.
“Our TwinSpires brand has continuously delivered over 13 years, and it is also associated with over a century of wagering experience. That history and heritage offer an unrivaled difference in a competitive space,” said Bill Mudd, President and Chief Operating Officer of Churchill Downs Incorporated. “The transition to TwinSpires not only generates marketing efficiencies, but it also allows us to deliver a more complete experience to our growing online wagering customer base,” Mudd said.