Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky
The entrance to Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky featuring a statue of 2006 Kentucky Derby Champion Barbaro. (Thomas Kelley via Shutterstock)
Ted Taylor

Betting has been in the news a lot lately. As Connecticut comes to terms with how best to implement the Governor’s vision for a modernized framework for betting – including new options such as internet casino, internet lottery, and sports betting – Sportech and our entire team continue to work hard to secure our place, as the state’s longstanding OTB operator, best positioned to continue serving Connecticut consumers.

In the midst of this debate, many sporting events that would have filled our calendar and drawn fans to our Bobby V’s and Winners venues and to our online platform were canceled and deferred last year. We voluntarily closed all venues in March 2020 and worked with the state to ensure a safe gradual reopening only when we were comfortable that reopening was a safe bet. It was fundamental to us to do all we could to best protect our staff and our guests. 

That’s why I’m delighted to announce that, as Connecticut’s home for legal betting, Sportech’s Winners OTB and Bobby V’s Restaurant & Sports Bar locations are preparing once again to offer one of the sporting world’s most thrilling annual traditions – the Kentucky Derby.

Our team in Connecticut have been hard at work preparing for the 147th running of the Kentucky Derby, which resumes its traditional calendar date of the first Saturday in May, this Saturday, May 1, 2021.

Sportech is ready to deliver a thrilling Kentucky Derby experience right here in Connecticut with multiple ways to safely enjoy the Derby and maybe have a bet on your favorite runner online, over the phone, or in person at one of our locations. 

We’re committed to ensuring that everyone has a fun and healthy day at the races and that’s why, in addition to our online and phone betting options, we’ve implemented social distancing and mask requirements at all locations, and helpful services like Walk Through Betting at some locations. 

All Winners locations will open at 10 a.m. on Friday, April 30, and Saturday, May 1, and will offer advanced wagering on April 30 for the Kentucky Derby race and Race 12 at Churchill Downs to give guests a chance to avoid the rush. 

If it’s your first time placing a horse bet, don’t worry if the language seems strange; our helpers are there to cut through the jargon. So, whether you like the horse’s name, the color of the jockey’s silks or whatever else is calling out to you, have a bit of fun, make a pick, and shout on your favorite.

Debate over the future of gaming in Connecticut is a robust one, with everyone doing a good job of protecting and advancing their respective positions, and it’s not over yet. We at Sportech have maintained since this debate began in 2018 that new gaming opportunities should be appropriately distributed to those with a history and standing in the state – the four existing operators – and we continue to work with the state and with partners in a direction that will create a healthy, competitive marketplace.

For now, however, we at Sportech are taking a moment to enjoy the excitement and pageantry of this weekend’s Kentucky Derby. We are honored to be taking steps towards normalcy together, with events like this longstanding annual tradition that offers a bracing reminder of the thrill of the greatest two minutes in sports and the unmatched excitement you feel if your horse wins.  

We invite you to join us for your Kentucky Derby Day experience at Winners and Bobby V’s. We’re even throwing in a potential $125 new online player bonus at (just don’t tell my boss). To learn more visit

Ted Taylor is the President of Sportech Venues, Inc., operator of Connecticut’s OTB at 11 locations throughout Connecticut and online at

The views, opinions, positions, or strategies expressed by the author are theirs alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions, or positions of