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Kentucky Horse Racing Commission sets timeline, launch dates for sports betting

 Gov. Andy Beshear (D) and legislators including Jonathan Rabinowitz and Michael Meredith (R-19) sign emergency regulations paving the way for sports betting at the Red Mile in Lexington Monday afternoon.
Shepherd Snyder
Gov. Andy Beshear (D) and legislators including GOP Rep. Michael Meredith sign emergency regulations paving the way for sports betting at the Red Mile in Lexington Monday afternoon.

The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission alongside Gov. Andy Beshear signed emergency regulations Monday afternoon that pave the way for statewide sports betting starting this fall.

The signing allows for racetracks and gaming sites to apply for retail sportsbook permits. It allows for both brick-and-mortar locations at those sites and online partnerships that can be accessed across the Commonwealth.

Jonathan Rabinowitz is the chairman of the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC), which will also oversee sportsbook regulations and licensing. He said they’re currently preparing for nine retail locations.

“That’s every licensed track,” Rabinowitz said. “Then what we’ll have is each licensed track has the ability to bring on three service providers. That’s every DraftKings of the world, the FanDuels, those sorts of providers. I don’t know if they’ll use all three, but they have the ability to use all three.”

In total,fourteen sites statewide are able to apply. That includes Churchill Downs, Cumberland Run, two Derby City Gaming locations, two Ellis Park locations, Keeneland, Kentucky Downs, The Mint Gaming Hall, Newport Racing and Gaming, Oak Grove Gaming and Racing, The Red Mile, Sandy’s Gaming and Racing and Turfway Park.

The commission is also growing in size as it expands its scope, adding more employees to fully oversee and regulate the industry.

“My team feels good about it,” KHRC Executive Director Jamie Eads said. “We've added compliance and auditors in different positions that will help us grow with the sport, I don’t see any reason to be concerned.”

Rabinowitz says cutting into historical horse racing revenue, an $8 billion industry in Kentucky, also won’t be an issue, and that the new sports betting laws will also be an economic boost for the state.

“Part of the allure of having it at the associations was that they complement one another,” Rabinowitz said. “I don’t think it’s going to hurt us at all. In fact, I think having it at the retail locations may introduce a whole new group of individuals to horse racing.”

In-person sports betting at these sites will begin September 7 – the same day the 2023 NFL season kicks off. Mobile betting will open September 28. House Bill 551 was passed during the Kentucky General Assembly’s most recent legislative session and saw sports betting in the Commonwealth legalized last Spring.

Copyright 2023 WEKU. To see more, visit WEKU.


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