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Kentucky Horse Racing Commission Advances Efforts to Introduce Sports Betting in the State

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The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) is making significant progress in its efforts to bring sports betting to the state.

Jonathan Rabinowitz, the chairman of the KHRC, announced that initial drafts of the proposed regulations will soon be available on the commission's website. This development brings the long-awaited kickoff of sports betting in Kentucky one step closer to reality. A special meeting is scheduled for early July, where the board will review and vote on these regulations.

While Kentucky's sports betting law officially goes into effect on July 1, the KHRC has until the end of the year to establish the necessary gambling regulations. However, obtaining approval in July would allow the state to take advantage of the start of the football season, making it an opportune time for Kentucky to make its entry into the sports wagering marketplace.

Under the sports betting law passed by Kentucky legislators in March, the KHRC will hold regulatory authority over sports betting in the state. Licenses will be granted to horse racing tracks, which will then partner with various vendors. This means that popular online and app-based platforms like DraftKings, BetMGM, and FanDuel can operate in Kentucky only after reaching agreements with one of the horse tracks. In return, the horse tracks will receive a portion of the online wagering revenue.

Several horse tracks have already established partnerships with prominent sportsbooks. In May, Keeneland and The Red Mile in Lexington announced their partnership with Caesars Sportsbook, while Churchill Downs has been working with FanDuel and DraftKings in different capacities.

Kentucky aims to implement best practices in sports betting by learning from the experiences of other states and engaging in discussions with regulators from various jurisdictions, as well as Major League Baseball. By drawing on these insights, the state hopes to develop effective rules and regulations for the industry.

Additionally, the KHRC has been in talks with stakeholders about problem gambling programs, taking inspiration from the program being developed in Ohio. The commission has enlisted the services of Gaming Labs International, an external consulting firm, to provide support and training throughout the process.

In preparation for the launch of sports betting, the KHRC plans to create 14 new positions related to sports wagering. These positions will include investigative, analytical, and administrative roles, which will contribute to the effective regulation of the industry.

Chairman Rabinowitz expressed his excitement about this significant development and highlighted that it is an incredibly thrilling period for the state. As the KHRC continues its dedicated work on finalizing the regulations, residents of Kentucky eagerly anticipate the opportunity to participate in sports betting, especially with the football season drawing near.

The introduction of sports betting in Kentucky holds great potential, not only for the state's economy but also for the excitement it will bring to sports enthusiasts. The partnerships between horse tracks and sportsbooks are paving the way for a robust and competitive market.

With the KHRC's commitment to implementing best practices and ensuring the integrity of wagering, Kentucky is well on its way to creating a successful sports betting industry that can provide both entertainment and economic benefits to the state and its residents.

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