TwinSpires Casino, Sportsbook Leaving Michigan, SI May Be Sports Replacement

TwinSpires Sportsbook and Casino didn’t even get an epitaph before the talk began about which online gambling operator will replace it. The Michigan online casino site is shutting down next week.

TwinSpires’ parent company Churchill Downs Inc. (CDI) announced in February that it would shut down all its sports betting and online casino products to focus on horse racing, its original niche. Initially, those closures were expected in the first half of the year.

TwinSpires Casino’s land-based partner Island Casino hasn’t yet officially announced a replacement. However, the app’s sports betting slot looks like it may be snapped up by SI Sportsbook.

Sept. 6 will be the last day bettors can use the TwinSpires site for anything but wagering on horse races.

Gambling on horse races can continue after next week because that, after all, is CDI’s strength. Eight retail TwinSpires Sportsbooks will also continue operating around the country.

CDI announced in February that it was discontinuing its online casino and sportsbooks due to disappointing revenues.

The Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) only authorizes 15 license-holders at once. At the moment, all spots have been taken. That makes any market exit – and therefore, potential new entry – a significant occurrence.

That’s why it’s news that today, SI Sportsbook offering Michigan as one of its state options. The Sports Illustrated app powered by 888 also lists Colorado and Virginia options.

While there’s no such hint that SI Casino may make its US debut in Michigan, it seems likely that the two will go hand-in-hand.

TwinSpires Leaves NJ, PA, Too

New Jersey bettors were the first to see TwinSpires exit the market, in June.

Today, the NJ TwinSpires site reads:

Sorry! The page you requested is no longer accessible as we are closing TwinSpires Sports & Casino in New Jersey.

PlayNJ reported that the departure left two open slots on the Golden Nugget Hotel, Casino and Marina license. MichiganSharp checked the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) site today and it appears those openings remain.

Michigan is next in the staggered TwinSpires shutdown, PlayMichigan found.

Pennsylvanian can expect to continue betting at TwinSpires until December or January, says Katie Kohler, managing editor at PlayPennsylvania. She says she learned this through a chat with TwinSpires customer service.

Horse Racing Betting May See Innovation

CDI announced on Aug. 11 that it will sell 49% of its subsidiary, United Tote Company (UTC), to NYRA Content Management Solutions.

According to the press release by CDI, it and the subsidiary of the New York Racing Association have the following plans:

CDI and NYRA intend to work together to create and provide a comprehensive and efficient industry-leading pari-mutuel solution through United Tote that will expedite the expansion of horse racing seamlessly onto sports wagering platforms to reach new customers. Pending the appropriate regulatory approvals, NYRA will transition its pari-mutuel wager processing to United Tote in 2023 under a separate agreement.

So this TwinSpires Sportsbook and Casino departure isn’t the last online sports bettors will see of CDI.

That’s especially true for New York’s mobile sports bettors, because NYRA operates Aqueduct Racetrack in South Ozone Park, Queens; Belmont Park in Elmont; and Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs.

About the Author

Heather Fletcher

Heather Fletcher is a writer for Michigan Casino Review Bank with a focus on online casino content. She had her first published byline at age 10, but didn't get paid for her writing until she got her first newspaper job. Heather's work in Suburban News Publications in Ohio and eventually took her to The New York Times, where she's still a contract freelance reporter for the National Desk. In March 2021, Fletcher began writing about online casino gambling as the lead writer for Online Poker Report, which lead her to MI Sharp.