At least 10 national brands with sportsbook operations – including one that recently sold its US operations to a competitor – have registered as legal business entities in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. That indicates a potentially healthy field of competition when sports betting launches in the state next month.
Caesars, FanDuel, DraftKings, Fanatics, BetMGM, WynnBET, Bet365, PointsBet, Betfair, and Circa are all now registered as Kentucky businesses, according to Kentucky Secretary of State online business filings.
Although those filings do not specify if the companies have filed to operate sports betting in Kentucky or other operations in the state, the timing of most of the filings fit the state’s timeline for launch next month.
Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) Executive Director Jamie Eads told the Kentucky General Assembly’s interim budget committee on July 19 that her agency has talked to FanDuel, DraftKings, Circa, WynnBet, and BetMGM specifically, as the agency works to set up sports wagering tied to horse tracks. More sportsbooks — though unnamed — may have also talked with the agency.
Kentucky will launch retail sports betting at up to 14 tracks or other gaming locations across the Commonwealth on Sept. 7. Mobile sports betting through as many as 27 apps is on track for launch on Sept. 28.
Caesars, DraftKings, FanDuel Registered to Do Business in the Bluegrass State
Two of the 10 brands – Caesars and FanDuel – have already announced plans to launch sports betting through partnerships with Kentucky horse tracks. The brands also have racing apps that operate in Kentucky – Caesars Racebook and FanDuel Racing.
DraftKings’ racing app, DK Horse, is also live in Kentucky, per the DraftKings’ website.
According to the Kentucky Secretary of State’s website, all three brands have filed to do business in the state. Caesars (as Caesars Enterprise
Services LLC) filed in Oct. 2014. FanDuel (FanDuel Inc.) filed in April 2023. DraftKings (Crown Gaming LLC) filed most recently, on July 17.
What the Secretary of State’s online records don’t show is whether the filings are for a sports betting or horse racing app operation. Kentucky Secretary of State Communications Director Michon Lindstrom told Gaming Today in a call on Thursday that her agency’s online business filing search is not designed to identify specific business operations.
A call to the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission for information on the licensing status of sportsbooks in Kentucky went unanswered.
PointsBet Now Registered in Kentucky
Of the other seven brands that are registered in Kentucky, PointsBet is the latest. The company – which agreed to sell its US operations to Fanatics in a $225 million deal in June – filed with the state as PointsBet USA Holding Inc. on July 31.
Fanatics registered its business name with the state back in Dec. 2021 as FBG Enterprises OPCO, LLC., with Fanatics Sportsbooks listed as an assumed name.
Fanatics Sportsbook’s registration is good through May 2028, per the Secretary of State’s website.
BetMGM, WynnBet, Bet365, Betfair, Circa Also Registered in the Commonwealth
Rounding out the list of potential sports betting operations in the Bluegrass State are BetMGM, WynnBet, Bet365, Betfair, and Circa. BetMGM and Bet365 (registered under the name Hillside (Kentucky) LLC) both filed with the state last month, according to the Secretary of State’s website.
WynnBet, registered as WSI US LLC, filed to do business in Kentucky back in Jan. 2022. It was followed in Nov. 2022 by Betfair Interactive US LLC.
Las Vegas-based Circa filed in the state on July 28. The brand is registered in the Commonwealth as Circa Sports Kentucky LLC.
Conspicuously absent from the list of potential contenders are Betr and Barstool Sports. A company called BetrLink LLC is registered in Kentucky, but it is an account provider for debt relief programs — not a gambling company.
The only company registered under Barstool in Kentucky per a search of the Secretary of State site is Barstool Brawl LLC. That company registered in the Commonwealth in 2018 ahead of a Barstool Sports “Rough N’ Rowdy Brawl” amateur fighting event held at the former Whitaker Bank Ballpark in Lexington in Oct. 2018.
However, Barstool Sports is owned by PENN Entertainment which on Thursday registered to do business in Kentucky under its subsidiary, Penn Sports Interactive LLC. So a Barstool presence in the Bluegrass State may be in the works.
photo by: Joseph Sohm