11/12/2014 6:12PM

Churchill Downs acquires mobile-gaming company


Churchill Downs Inc. has reached a deal to buy a mobile-gaming company, Big Fish, for a price that could rise to $885 million, the two companies announced late on Wednesday.

Big Fish distributes dozens of casual mobile games that run the thematic gamut. It also distributes a game called Big Fish Casino, which it describes as a “social-gaming casino.”

Churchill has made no secret of its goal of positioning itself on the leading edge of mobile gambling on the chance that federal laws are relaxed allowing for wider forms of Internet gambling. Two years ago it launched a gambling site that used bingo-type computer games as interfaces even though payouts were determined by the results of horse races at the company’s tracks. The site, Luckity.com, was shelved earlier this year after failing to hit the company’s expectations.

The companies said that Churchill will pay $485 million initially for Big Fish, a privately held company, with payments potentially rising to another $350 million based on the company’s adjusted 2015 earnings. Big Fish’s chief executive will also be eligible to receive up to $50 million in bonuses, the companies said.

Matthew Hood More than 1 year ago
Wow, CDI could spend a fraction of that money to improve their product and tracks, but choose to buy mobile games. Everybody just needs to boycott Churchill now!
riddick More than 1 year ago
what a waste of money! Take my site off my hands for $1 million. Hire a bunch of college age software whiz kids and they'll beat that site for a fraction of the money. See, You go to an East/West coast schools like Leigh, RPI, Carnegie Mellon, Drexel, Cal-Poly types software, engineering kids and kill it.. Cheaper than the MIT-Stanford "I'm better than you" head cases, They're motivated ,nerdy and will work 16 hours a day.
Chas More than 1 year ago
With the decision to close their own gaming site because it didn't meet company's expectations how wise is this purchase? Better to have put the money in Fair Grounds and Calder, but, that is not managements style....waste of money...
Bruce Epstein More than 1 year ago
It shows, their product at CD has been far below par for the last two meets. But Indiana downs (casino on site) has full fields and great betting opportunities. Maybe CD will try to sell CD to Frank and get out of the game.
Blake Jessee More than 1 year ago
Indy does have full fields, but I wouldnt go as far to say its a "great" product...... Its a gimmick track at best, with a 40ft wide conveyor belt & if your not on the crown of the track turning for home u havent got a snowballs chance in hell of making up any ground. There passing out syringes on the backside like there halloween candy & you've got trainers like Marvin Johnson & Tom Amoss that are completely dilluting the product for the players by use of chemical warfare & it forces us cappers to do too much guess work. I dont wanna have to guess if Amoss is dropping this horse bcos its a fire sale with sore feet or if its a sure thing. And if its the later, then the price is so saturated, its not even worth playing... Indy is my home track, & i really wish that what i said wasnt tru, but it is.
Mel More than 1 year ago
Even Vegas won't take the feed