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Kentucky regulators collaborating with experts, start hiring process ahead of sports betting launch


In April, the state of Kentucky legalized sports betting after Governor Andy Beshear signed House Bill 551 into law. The bill calls for the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission to establish and manage a sports wagering system across the Bluegrass State. The Commission is now setting up the necessary framework, actively working with officials from other states and industry experts reviewing regulations and best practices.

On Wednesday, Gov. Beshear confirmed that the agency has already started hiring employees for wagering compliance, gearing up for the much-anticipated launch of Kentucky sports betting. The law goes into effect on June 28, and Beshear said he hopes the first bets can be made by the start of the NFL season.

In the initial round of hiring, the commission will be looking for dedicated professionals to support wagering compliance efforts, including advisors, analysts, auditors, and other crucial roles in regulating the sports wagering industry.

“This is an exciting milestone,” Beshear said on Wednesday, as reported by WLKY News. “With the additional licensing and enforcement responsibilities, we have to add these jobs. That’s the first step towards the implementation of this program.”

Gov. Andy Beshear signed sports betting into law earlier this year

The prospects of legal sports betting have already caught the attention of gambling industry stakeholders. Last month, Caesars Sportsbook announced a partnership with historic racetracks Keeneland and Red Mile. The firm intends to offer both in-person and mobile sports gambling to those 21 and older in the Bluegrass State. 

The agreements with Keeneland and Red Mile Gaming & Racing in Lexington grant the operator market access to offer legalized mobile wagering and include plans to open Central Kentucky’s only brick-and-mortar retail locations

Caesars’ partnership with Keeneland and Red Mile is the first one to be officially announced, but Churchill Downs officials indicated in a recent earnings call that they are working in an agreement with sports betting giant FanDuel

In addition to Churchill Downs, Keeneland and Red Mile, six other tracks in Kentucky qualify for licenses: Cumberland Run (a new racing facility); Ellis Park; Kentucky Downs; Oak Grove Racing and Gaming; Revolutionary Racing (under construction); Turfway Park.

As per the law, each of the state’s nine horse racing tracks can partner with up to three online sportsbooks, meaning 27 operators could be allowed in total.

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