Kentucky to Approve First Sports Wagering Regs in Early July

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Kentucky is expected to approve its first sports betting regulations next month, with a meeting tentatively planned for early July.

Kentucky Horse Racing Commission Chair Jonathan Rabinowitz announced the development Tuesday at the commission’s June meeting. Draft sports betting regulations will be posted on the KHRC’s website within the next few weeks, with more information made public as it becomes available.

“We will continue to provide updates on the progress as available,” said Rabinowitz. “But needless to say, this is an exciting time in the Commonwealth.”

Kentucky sports betting is expected to launch by late 2023 under the state’s sports betting law, which takes effect on June 28. Up to 27 mobile sportsbooks and nine retail sportsbooks are possible under the law passed during Kentucky’s 2023 regular legislative session. While regulators hope to launch retail sports wagering by football season, December is a more realistic target date for mobile betting.

Consulting, New Staff Hires Taking Shape

The KHRC has spent the past two months doing legwork to accelerate a Kentucky sports betting rollout this year, Rabinowitz said Tuesday. He said much of that time has been spent meeting with regulators in other states, sports betting operators, and industry experts with the “goal of drafting clear and concise sports betting regulations.”Kentucky sports betting regulators begin to map out a timeline for launch.

Rabinowitz said he and other commissioners have met specifically with gaming regulators in Massachusetts, Indiana, New Jersey, Colorado, and Ohio for insight.

“We are in discussion with stakeholders about problem gambling programs in Ohio to inform the program we develop in Kentucky with the Cabinet for Health and Family Services,” he announced today.

The KHRC has also contracted with GLI (Gaming Labs International), one of the nation’s top two gaming testing laboratories and consulting firms, for staff training, said Rabinowitz. Fourteen new positions have been added at KHRC so far to assist with the Kentucky sports betting program, with hiring ongoing.

“We’re pleased to update that we have some good candidates in the hiring process and hope to make some additional staff announcements, too,” the chair said.

Kentucky Sports Betting Quick Hits

Caesars announced last month that it has signed on as an official mobile sports betting partner for Keeneland Race Course and Red Mile Racing and Gaming in Lexington, with a permanent retail sportsbook also planned for the Red Mile.

Annual Kentucky state revenue from sports betting is expected to reach $23 million – the majority of which will go to fund Kentucky’s public pensions.

Additionally, 2.5 percent of Kentucky sports betting revenue will fund gambling addiction programs.

About the Author
Rebecca Hanchett

Rebecca Hanchett

Legislative Writer
Based in Kentucky's Bluegrass region, Rebecca Hanchett is a political writer who covers legislative developments at Gaming Today. She worked as a public affairs specialist for 23 years at the Kentucky State Capitol. A University of Kentucky grad, Hanchett has been known to watch UK. basketball from time to time.

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