Edited press release
Youbet.com, the online wagering company with headquarters in Southern California, handled $5.6 million Kentucky Derby day, May 6, an increase of 34% from 2005 and the highest one-day amount in the history of the company.
United Tote, now owned by Youbet.com, processed a record $175 million in wagers on the full card from Churchill Downs. International Racing Group, an offshore high-volume shop owned by Youbet.com, handled $4.3 million on Derby day, 69% of which was wagered on Churchill races.
The IRG handle was up 280% from last year, Youbet.com reported. IRG bets are now funneled through the Youbet.com hub in Oregon.
Youbet.com generated $3.7 million in wagers on the Churchill program, up 32% from last year. The company said more than 98% of the Churchill wagers were made outside of the Louisville, Ky., racetrack's source-market area.
"Our race day performance--online and in our new live operator and totalizator channels--was extraordinary," Youbet.com chief executive officer Charles Champion said in a statement. "Our online product attracted thousands of new customers and millions of additional handle. Our marketing initiatives delivered exceptionally strong results as younger audiences (ages 21-40), in particular, found the online wagering environment to their liking.
"Our phone wagering spiked, and United Tote processed the highest single day of handle in the history of U.S. horse racing. It was a very satisfying day for each of our companies."
Youbet.com employed what it called an "aggressive marketing effort" geared toward the Derby. The company said it signed up more than 6,000 new customers in the two days leading up event, and that more than 20% of the new customers were converted from Youbet.net, the company's recently deployed educational play-for-points Web site.