Derby Decline

    • An average of $22.5 million is wagered on Derby day at Churchill Downs.
    • This article was first published in the FOS Daily Newsletter. Subscribe here.

Kentucky Derby betting declined 52% compared to 2019 as Authentic secured an upset victory on Saturday. Churchill Downs reported $79.4 million was bet this weekend, down from the record $165.5 million bet last year.

There were no fans present — a stark contrast to the more than 150,000 people in attendance last year — which meant the track missed the average of $22.5 million wagered in-person on Derby day. Also not included were Nevada sportsbooks, which didn’t take part in the Churchill Downs pool over an ongoing data fees dispute with the track.

NBC Sports’ broadcast of the 2020 Kentucky Derby on Saturday averaged 8.4 million viewers, a 49% drop from the 16.3 million viewers who watched the 2019 edition aired in its traditional May spot. That is the smallest audience for the race on record — the previous low was 9.1 million viewers in 2000.

Last Five Years of Kentucky Derby Betting Totals:

2020: $79.4 million

2019: $165.5 million

2018: $149.9 million

2017: $139.2 million

2016: $124.7 million