Saturday’s Kentucky Derby Expected To Break Viewership and Betting Records
The 2019 Derby – one of the most popular thoroughbred racing events worldwide – is quickly approaching and gamblers are ready with bets in hand. PayPerHead.com, the leading sportsbook software in the industry, is expecting this year’s Kentucky Derby to break previous year’s viewership and betting numbers, anticipating an industry total of over $250 million in wagers.
“The Kentucky Derby has always been a ‘must bet’ event for gamblers, and our agents have been preparing their books for this year’s anticipated increase of, viewership, traffic and bets.” explained Nate Johnson, Product Manager of PayPerHead.com. “This year, big names participating in this year’s race seem to be driving an influx of traffic and bets. The thoroughbreds that are anticipated to receive the largest number of bets are Game Winner, Roadster, Improbalbe, Maximum Security and Tacitus.”
2018’s Kentucky Derby experienced a record high viewership of over 12 million people. According to NBC, The Kentucky Derby’s television programming lasts approximately 5 hours, however, the race as a whole only lasts about 2-3 minutes. Recent statistics show that the viewership of programming before the race started averaged a total of 5.51 million viewers. Once the race had begun, viewership spiked sharply to 16.1 million viewers.
It is clear that the increase of viewership for the Kentucky Derby is directly impacting the number of wagers placed on the event. According to LegalSportsReport.com, “wagering from all-sources on the  Kentucky Derby totaled $225.7 million, an 8% increase over the 2017 total.”
“The [Kentucky] Derby is unlike any sporting event when it comes to betting and viewership. When betting on a sports event like the Super Bowl, bets can be placed 1-2 days in advance along with program viewership being more consistent,” Johnson explained. “However, horse racing is a bit different. Typically, bets are placed within a few hours or minutes before the race begins. Viewers usually tune into programming about 30 minutes before the race begins, skipping the content building up to the race.”
PayPerHead explained that while bets on the race are currently at a minimal state, the company expects its agents to start receiving traffic and bets within an hour of the race starting.
“We’re anticipating an unprecedented amount of site traffic this Saturday, and we’ve ensured that our servers and agents’ sportsbooks can handle the increased traffic. Users should have no issues when placing bets through our software or servers. It’s business as usual for this year’s derby, and we’re expecting no delays.”