Horseplayers bet less, hurts Churchill Downs

Mar 9, 2010 4:07 AM

Industry Insider by Ray Poirier |

Horseplayers are wagering less and that contributed to a major loss in the fourth quarter says Churchill Downs Inc. (CHDN).

For the period that ended on Dec. 31, 2009, the company said it had a loss of $6.9 million or $0.51 per share compared to the previous year when the loss was $4.1 million or $0.30 per share.

The decline in betting and the cost of opening a racino at Calder Race Course in Florida were the two main drivers in the loss column said the company.

For the full year, the company said it had net income of $16.8 million or $1.21 per share, down from $28.5 million or $2.05 per share in 2008.

"Despite the economic recession and very challenging conditions in the U.S. thoroughbred industry," said CEO Robert Evans, "we were able to grow revenues in 2009."

However, Evans added that "it is proving increasingly difficult to generate an acceptable return on the company’s investments."

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