Caesars Readies For Kentucky Sports Betting Market With New Deals

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Kentucky sports betting

Two landmark racetracks in Kentucky will give Caesars Sportsbook access to KY sports betting. 

Caesars Sportsbook announced Tuesday it partnered with Keeneland and Red Mile Gaming & Racing for online and in-person sports betting in Kentucky

“Keeneland and Red Mile are iconic horse racing venues with an important legacy in the state of Kentucky,” Caesars Digital President Eric Hession said in a release. “Working with these historic institutions provides an unmatched opportunity to reach sports and racing fans in the state.”

Kentucky sports betting law goes into effect June 28, but regulators are already working toward a hopeful launch by NFL betting season. Hession said he looks forward to a Caesars debut later this year.

Partnership details for Caesars

Beyond online sports betting access for Caesars, the partners plan to open “Central Kentucky’s only brick-and-mortar retail sportsbook locations” at the tracks in Lexington

Caesars will be an official sports betting partner of the two tracks, offering on-track hospitality and VIP experiences at both. 

Keeneland executives like Caesars’ partnership with the New York Racing Association and its robust Caesars Racebook offering. The Caesars horse racing app is active in Kentucky.

Historic Kentucky tracks line up for sports betting

Keeneland was built in 1936 and is a National Historic Landmark. It is the world’s largest thoroughbred auction house. 

Red Mile, meanwhile, dates back to 1875 and is the second-oldest harness racing track in the world.

It also features more than 950 historical horse racing (HHR) machines.

What sportsbooks will be in Kentucky?

Under Kentucky sports betting law, each of the state’s nine horse racing tracks can partner with up to three online sportsbooks. With up to 27 operators allowed, Kentuckians could see industry players large and small. 

While the Caesars partnership was the first to be officially announced, Churchill Downs Inc. executives said in a recent earnings call that they have a partnership lined up with FanDuel. After CDI announced it was pulling out of online sports betting, it began partnering with sportsbooks like FanDuel to integrate its horse racing products.

Also among CDI horse racing partners is DraftKings.

Tracks in the Bluegrass State

Six tracks in Kentucky qualify for licenses in addition to Churchill Downs, Keeneland and Red Mile. 

Those tracks are: 

Timeline for Kentucky sports betting

Along with the effective date, KY sports betting law dictates the market be “fully functional” within six months. That suggests sportsbooks will be live by at least the end of 2023.

Gov. Andy Beshear said he hopes sports betting will begin by the NFL season, which kicks off Sept. 7. Beshear signed the legislation in March.

Several states have recently gone from a spring passage to a football season launch, including Arizona and Kansas.