DraftKings Launches Horse-Racing App in 12 States to Start

DraftKings Launches Horse-Racing App in 12 States to Start

With the Kentucky Derby approaching, the interest in horse racing by operators of sports betting sites may continue to rise.

Last Updated:
Mar 29, 2023 10:02 AM ET

Read Time: 2 min

The horse-racing app bearing the branding of DraftKings is finally live. 

DraftKings Inc., the Boston-based operator of online sports betting sites, announced Wednesday morning that its DK Horse app has now launched in 12 states and will do so in additional markets before the Kentucky Derby on May 6. 

The 12 states in which DK Horse is currently available for those either 18 or 21 years of age or older are:

The app will connect customers to pari-mutuel wagering on horse racing and is powered by technology provided by the TwinSpires subsidiary of Churchill Downs Inc., the owner of the Kentucky Derby. DK Horse is also separate from the DraftKings casino, daily fantasy, and sportsbook apps, which means that customers must register and deposit funds into new accounts. 

“Together with Churchill Downs Incorporated, an industry leader with a deep-rooted history in horse racing, we will deliver an innovative, mobile customer experience,” said Jason Robins, chief executive officer of DraftKings, in a press release. “Our goal is to provide our customers with best-in-class-sports and gaming products, and we expect DK Horse to provide a fun and new way to engage with renowned races like the upcoming Run for the Roses.”

DraftKings has quietly been nailing down regulatory approvals for DK Horse, including recently in Massachusetts, the company’s home state. Getting those approvals before the Kentucky Derby was critical, as the event attracts attention from the most casual of sports fans, providing an opportunity to acquire new customers. Those new bettors can then be nudged toward legal sports betting and internet casino gambling where possible. 

Furthermore, DraftKings said in November, when it announced the plan to develop and launch DK Horse, that the new app would be “immediately profitable,” which is key for the company as it strives to show investors it can generate positive earnings. Other operators have jumped into the horse-racing game as well, as they try to broaden their avenues of customer acquisition and offer current customers new ways of wagering. 

The interest in horse racing may continue to rise in the days leading up to this year’s Kentucky Derby. Indeed, the agenda for this Thursday’s meeting of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission shows two items related to horse racing, including a request by FanDuel to allow access to its racing app through its online sportsbook.

“DK Horse customers will be able to wager on some of the most renowned horse races in the U.S., including Churchill Downs’ premier racing products like the Oaks and Derby,” DraftKings said in its press release. “DK Horse will also give customers the ability to handicap races, wager, and stream video of races all within their DK Horse account.” 

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