Horse Racing

Kentucky Racetrack is pleased to offer sports betting

The new one Race Park There is a grand sports bar with many TVs and an alarm clock that constantly updates sports scores. It was built with the goal that one day Kentucky would approve sports betting.

That day came March 30.

In a bit of a surprise, the Kentucky Senate followed its House counterparts by approving a bill that would allow sports betting in the state. On March 31, Governor Andy Beshear (Democrat) signed legislation allowing sports betting at Kentucky racetracks and any extension thereof (historic horse racing facilities outside the venue) ).

Maybe as soon as this year, the sports bar at Turfway and other similar areas that the Kentucky race track has built during major facility upgrades in recent years thanks to the power of HHR, will be up and running. with sports betting. Turfway owner Churchill Downs Inc., which also owns the premier race track and Ellis . ParkLooking forward to the release.

“Churchill Downs Incorporated is excited to bring our traditional sports betting experience to our home state of Kentucky,” the company said in a statement. “All of our (HHR) facilities across the state are designed with this in mind and will be ready to offer sports betting as per the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission regulations and timings.”

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With the governor signing the sports betting law on Friday, the bill will become law in about 90 days and then the KHRC (the agency that will regulate sports betting in the state) will have six months to put it into effect. out regulations. That timeframe should start rolling out on January 1st, but given the popularity of bets on football, there will certainly be some push to launch in time for the college and NFL seasons, or as many of those seasons as possible.

Traditional sports betting venues can be added to the track as well as to the track extension—historic racing facilities associated with racetracks across the state. Tracks will also be able to partner with online sports betting sites to offer internet and mobile sports betting.

While the sports betting treatment won’t directly benefit horse racing, racers and riders are hoping it can help attract new fans. Joe Clabes, executive director of the Kentucky Horsemen Protection and Benevolent Association noted that the addition of sports betting could draw more people to the track and bring Kentucky’s HHR facilities to a level playing field. more equal because the state is almost surrounded by states that already allow sports betting.

“We hope it brings people to the track and HHR,” Clabes said. “It makes us more equal with our neighbours.”

Kentucky Senator Damon Thayer (Republican, Georgetown) has supported sports betting legislation for the past 5 years. He took a moment to celebrate Thursday’s vote. Also a horse owner, Thayer believes sports betting will be a positive for horse racing.

“This will give Kentucky racetracks an opportunity to reach new fans who are likely to bet on races,” Thayer said. “This is an opportunity for sports bettors to take part in live horse races, simulation races, horse bets and historic horse racing.”

Thayer said he encouraged racetracks to integrate their racing activities and sportsbooks to encourage crossover and attract new racing fans.

Turfway General Manager Chip Bach, who took over the position for some rough years before HHR arrived at the Northern Kentucky circuit, is looking forward to adding more sports betting. The track is about 10 miles from Ohio, where sports betting is allowed. He notes that sports betting offers another reason for people to choose Turfway when they are thinking about where to spend their entertainment money.

“I’m ecstatic about it,” Bach said. “It gives us more to compete with full casinos. We’ll have HHR, sports betting, live racing, entertainment and dining.”


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