Churchill Downs Reports Record $2.5 Billion Revenue In 2023

The company also announced plans to open Owensboro Racing & Gaming in 2025, which will add a new retail sportsbook in Kentucky.

Feb 22, 2024 • 17:10 ET • 4 min read
Churchill Downs Louisville Kentucky 2024
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

Business sure is booming for the famous racecourse that plays host to the annual Kentucky Derby. 

2023’s net revenue of $2.5 billion was a 36% increase compared to the $1.8 billion generated in 2022. The Bluegrass State-based operator produced a record $1 billion in adjusted EBITDA too, which marked a 34% increase from 2022's $800 million figure.

The 149th Kentucky Derby generated records in all-sources handle and adjusted EBITDA contribution from Derby Week too. 

Its gaming segment brought in $974.6 million in revenue over the full year, over $200 million better than the $761.8 million from 2022’s wagering. Its adjusted EBITDA from gaming also increased year-over-year from $421.9 million in 2022 to $488.6 million in 2023.

Full-year operating income grew 75% to $564 million, but net income experienced a 5% decrease YoY with $417 million in 2023 versus $439 million in 2022. 

Heavy influence

The acquisition of Peninsula Pacific Entertainment (P2E) played a large part in the increases Churchill Downs enjoyed last year. 

A $313.9 million increase in revenue was attributed to the Virginia racetracks and casinos the company acquired in its purchase of P2E.

For the fourth quarter, net revenue jumped to $561.2 million compared to $480.1 million in Q4 2022, while adjusted EBITDA rose to $219.1 million from $180.7 million. 

New retail sportsbook in Kentucky

Owensboro Racing & Gaming will be Churchill Downs’ seventh historical horse racing entertainment venue in Kentucky. It will be located in eastern Daviess County and will feature 600 state-of-the-art historical racing machines, multiple food and beverage offerings, and a retail sportsbook. 

“We are proud to announce this investment in the Kentucky horse racing industry as we celebrate 150 years of the Kentucky Derby."

- Bill Carstanjen, Churchill Downs CEO

The property will also operate as an annex of Ellis Park Racing & Gaming and will support purse funding for Ellis Park’s traditional summer racing meet. 

Carstajen was anxious to have Kentucky sports betting be offered right out of the gate when the market went live in 2023. The new retail sportsbook at Owensboro will add another in-person option for wagering just in time for another running of the Kentucky Derby next year. 

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