11/02/2017 9:13AM

Churchill Downs Inc. net income rises in third quarter


Churchill Downs Inc. had net income of $16.7 million in the third quarter of 2017, nearly double the net income of the third quarter last year, according to financial statements released late Wednesday by the company.

Among its four major operating segments, Twinspires.com, Churchill’s account-wagering company, had the best quarter, with revenue up $10.8 million, or 19.6 percent, to $65.9 million. During the quarter, the IRS and Treasury Department announced new tax rules highly favorable to horseplayers, and Twinspires.com was the first major account-wagering company to announce that its bet-processing system would be fully compliant with the new rules. That led horseplayers to steer betting to accounts at the company.

In a statement accompanying the release, Churchill said that Twinspires had an increase of 23.9 percent in active players during the quarter. Churchill owns a bet-processing company, United Tote, that provides bet-processing services for Twinspires and other racing clients.

Other than the growth at Twinspires, the quarter was mixed, with revenue for Churchill’s racing segment even with last year and revenue for its casinos up 5.4 percent. Revenue for its Big Fish social gaming unit was down 3.6 percent, even as expenses grew at the unit.

Last week, Churchill’s board approved a $1.52 dividend per share for shareholders of record on Dec. 1, 2017, an increase of 15 percent over the dividend last year. It was the seventh consecutive year the dividend was increased.

According to Churchill’s balance sheet, long-term debt at the company has increased from $312.8 million as of Dec. 31, 2016, to $510.7 million at the end of this year’s third quarter.