Sportsbook/Sports Team Collaborations and Kentucky Derby Record

Jack Harlow. Jeff Schear/Getty Images / AFP

A Record-Breaking Handle at Churchill Downs     

In a significant 17% increase from 2021, this past weekend’s Kentucky Derby broke a handle record with $273.8 million.   

The previous time this record was broken was in 2019. Still, the 2022 record revealed a consumer urge for the U.S.-based horseracing following the pandemic with a 9% increase from the previous record-breaking year. 

Overall, Derby week was a complete success of its own, showing a record handle of $391.8 million – a 25% rise from 2021 and 14% higher than the last record-breaking Derby week in 2019.  

This past Saturday, the three-year-old thoroughbred Rich Strike shocked the Kentucky Derby crowds as the 80/1 outsider finished first place. Ridden by his jockey Sonny Leon, Rick Strike had been seen as high as 99/1 and as one of the lowest-odd runners in the 20-horse race; bettors were left dumbfounded as bookmakers survived the weekend with all the favorites crashing.  

There hasn’t been a long-shot Kentucky Derby win like Rich Strike since 1913 when Donerail cashed in at 91/1.  

Horseracing enthusiasts will be gearing up for the remaining Triple Crown Series, as the Preakness Stakes (May 21st) and the Belmont Stakes (June 11th) are the second and third events to complete the flagship Triple Crown series.    

BetMGM Throws the Perfect Pitch to the Houston Astros    

BetMGM has announced a newly-established partnership with the Major League Baseball (MLB) team Houston Astros.  

It has become the first deal of its kind for BetMGM in Texas. BetMGM branding will be spread throughout Astro’s Minute Maid Park within the contract. Signage involving the BetMGM brand will be seen on the outfield wall and behind the home plate.  

In addition, the Astros fan base will be receiving the opportunity to participate in BetMGM VIP experiences. Exclusive VIP away game trips, throwing the first pitch, and on-field batting practice is just a handful of activities involved in the experiences.  

The Astros and BetMGM will also collaborate to provide unique betting promotions for consumers within Louisiana.  

Adam Greenblatt, the CEO of BetMGM, gave his thoughts on the partnership: “The Houston Astros are a monumental addition to our portfolio of strategic partnerships with professional sports teams across the US.  

“The organization’s passionate fanbase will be key to the growth of BetMGM throughout the South as we look for new ways to engage fans with unique experiences that go beyond the game.”  

Giles Kibbe, Astros Senior Vice President, and General Counsel said: “We are looking forward to our partnership with BetMGM.  

“As we continue to strive for new ways to add to the fan experience, this partnership will provide another way for the Astros to engage with our fans.”  

This sportsbooks deal comes a week following the Chicago White Sox deal with Caesars Sportsbook, as the competition amongst sportsbooks is heating up.