Churchill Downs Cites No Fan, Less Horses For Kentucky Derby Betting Decline


Bets on the 146th Kentucky Derby fell sharply over the weekend, down 52% from last year’s record amount.With no fans allowed on the track due to the coronavirus pandemic, Churchill Downs reported that $ 79.4 million was wagered in the parimutual pool on this year’s race. Last year’s Derby set a record with $ 165.5 million in bets from all sources.

Churchill Downs officials attributed the decline in the grip to a lack of spot betting, fewer horses in the race and a prohibitive favorite. Tiz the Law became a 4-5 favorite, but failed to chase winner Authentic, who was 8-1 and beat a field of 15 horses, the smallest since 1998.

Over the past five years, an average of $ 22.5 million has been wagered on the track on Derby Day, which traditionally takes place on the first Saturday in May.

“We are grateful to our fans and our community for their support of the 146th Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby,” Bill Carstanjen, CEO of Churchill Downs Inc., said in a statement. “We can’t wait to see our loyal fans at next year’s 147th Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby the first weekend in May. ”

In addition to not betting on the spot, Nevada sportsbook did not participate in the Derby parimutual pool this year due to an ongoing dispute with Churchill Downs over data charges. Nevada sports betting took bets on the Derby, but outside the parimutual pool.

Bookmaker William Hill reported that 8% of the money wagered on his sportsbook supports Authentic to win. Tiz the Law received 20% of the bets and 48% of the money wagered to win the race at William Hill.

Overall, $ 126 million was wagered in the parimutual pool on the Kentucky Derby day program. It was the smallest amount wagered on the Derby day program since 2002.


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