This story is developing. We will update as we learn more.
Churchill Downs acquired BetAmerica.com in 2017 after the racebook lost the ability to take customers from California. After the fall of PASPA a year later, BetAmerica began positioning itself as a multi-state sportsbook.
In a surprising move, CDI Inc has chosen to leverage the existing flagship racebook brand Twinspires, expanding its offerings beyond horse racing and planning to integrate the entire suite of sports betting and casino game offerings currently available in the BetAmerica app.
BetAmerica has existing partnerships for both retail sportsbooks and mobile sports betting apps already operating in Colorado, Indiana, Michigan, Mississippi, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. A press release states that the transition will coincide with the TwinSpires sportsbook and casino launch in Michigan later this month.
An email to BettingUSA.com stated that the betting experience will not be immediately changed, and promised a smooth transition of player accounts and data.
The announcement comes as no surprise, CDI is known to be protective of the TwinSpires brand, and doesn’t seem to have any interest in running competing racebooks.
Churchill Downs Acquired BetAmerica Before PASPA
Churchill Downs purchased BetAmerica.com in 2017 – a savvy moved considering the repeal of PASPA just one year later – instantly giving Churchill Downs a brand to integrate into the US sports betting market.
It is unclear whether Churchill Downs executives had plans for a potential sportsbook in mind when purchasing the assets, or if the acquisition was directed at gobbling up a competitor.
Both Churchill Downs and the Stronarch Group (1/ST bet and XpressBet) lobbied successfully to the California Horse Racing Board to limit ADWs in California – BetAmerica and competing brand WatchandWager both lost the permission of the Thoroughbred Owners of California early that year, leading to a fire sale of the BetAmerica brand and its then struggling assets.
California was a strong market for BetAmerica, reportedly making up a large percentage of its existing customer base at that time.
Since the acquisition, we have watched BetAmerica turn its focus away from horse racing betting, instead dialing in on sports betting.
When will BetAmerica transfer player accounts to Twinspires?
The only timeline that has been given for the transfer of BetAmerica player accounts over to the TwinSpires brand is “sometime in January” – when the TwinSpires sportsbook launches in Michigan.
Most US Sportsbooks Don’t Have Horse Racing Betting
Carousel group, operators of SportsBetting.com – have plans to launch Racebook.com later this year, but as of now, FanDuel remains the only US sports betting operator with horse racing integrated into its online betting platform.
Of course this is just my opinion, but having horse racing wagers integrated into the BetAmerica app helped separate the operator from other sportsbooks. It will be interesting to see how CDI transitions the TwinSpires brand into more than a racebook.