Luck runs out for Churchill's Luckity

After two years of tinkering with an online game platform that paid players real cash, Churchill Downs Inc. is ditching

The game, launched in October 2012, began as a variety of numbers games, with winners determined by the outcome of live horse races at racetracks across the world, but the players didn't see the races.

It never really got much traction, and Churchill almost immediately began retooling it. In November 2013, it was relaunched as a bingo-style game, with results again determined by the outcome of horse races.

But the gains never outweighed the costs, apparently.

In its filings Wednesday on third-quarter earnings, Churchill said the company decided this onth to cease operations of Luckity.

"We determined that Luckity did not achieve the expected financial returns and was unlikely to significantly improve its results. During the fourth quarter of 2014, we expect to record an impairment charge of approximately $3.2 million for fixed assets specifically associated with Luckity," according to the filing.

Churchill president Bill Mudd said Thursday in a conference call with stock analysts that the game could attract players, "but the cost of acquiring them made the product economically unviable."

Further spending on Luckity will cease, but Churchill will continue to invest about $1 million each quarter to develop other online gambling platforms and pursue them in states where gambling is legal, the company said.

In 2012, Churchill bought a poker magazine and associated websites.