As we’re on the cusp of The Preakness, this week’s casino news starts off with revenue reports from the Kentucky Derby. Let’s dive into see what kind of handle and profits Churchill Downs recorded.
Kentucky Derby Sees Record Handle
It’s safe to say that the Kentucky Derby was an absolute success in terms of betting numbers. Churchill Downs Incorporated just released some of the numbers regarding the event. They said that a total of 147,294 fans showed up at the racetrack to support the Derby. Those fans also got the chance to witness the second-biggest long shot to ever win the Kentucky Derby.
When it comes to the official betting numbers, a total of $179 million was wagered on the event. This is actually 15 percent higher than the amount gambled in 2021. Not to mention it is actually eight percent higher than the $166.5 million record that they set back in 2019.
Rich Strike was the official winner of this Derby. They had 80-1 odds at the beginning of the event, the second-largest upset in the history of this race as we mentioned earlier. The current record holder for the biggest upset still belongs to Donerail’s win back in 1913. They had 91-1 odds that night.
U.S. Commercial Casino Industry Has Massive First Quarter
The commercial casino industry in the United States isn’t slowing down whatsoever. In fact, they are thriving. It was just announced by the American Gaming Association that the nationwide gaming revenue was $14.31 billion in just the first quarter of 2022. Not only is this a new record for the most amount of money ever picked up in just the first quarter of the year, but it is also just under an all-time quarterly record. The current largest quarter is still holding strong at $14.35 billion and was set during the final portion of 2021.
All year so far, we have been seeing record months. For example, March set the record for the highest-grossing month in commercial casino history with a revenue of $5.31 billion. Then February right before that set a record for the largest revenue ever brought in during the month of February in history.
One of the biggest reasons for the industry’s success right now has been New York legalizing sports betting. Their market launched in January 2022 and is already one of the top markets when it comes to betting handles.
Las Vegas Casino Offers $27 Million In Worker Bonuses
The Cosmopolitan Las Vegas has made a nice gesture this past week, deciding to give back to their employees. The current owner of this particular casino is Blackstone Group and the company is currently working out a sale for MGM Resorts International to acquire their operations of the casino for $1.6 billion. Due to this sale, the casino offered each of their 5,000 plus employees a large $5,000 cash bonus. In total, the company dished out about $27 million in bonuses.
Blackstone was able to purchase this casino back in 2014 for $1.73 billion. Prior to their purchase, some had the property listed at a price tag of $5 billion. Blackstone flipping it over to MGM will kick start a long 30-year lease agreement and partnership with Stonepeak Partners, Blackstone Real Estate Income Trust, and Cherng Family Trust.
The deal hasn’t been officially finalized yet but the expectation is that it will be closed very soon.