Pending the eventual launch of sports betting in Kentucky, Caesars Entertainment is positioning itself for instantaneous market access.
On Wednesday, Caesars announced a partnership with Keeneland and Red Mile Gaming & Racing in Lexington. The deal grants Caesars market access when Kentucky sports betting goes live.
Caesars positioning itself for Kentucky sports betting launch
Caesars said it plans to open retail sportsbooks at each racecourse, pending regulatory approval from the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission.
Eric Hession, President of Caesars Digital, said in a Keeneland press release:
“Keeneland and Red Mile are iconic horse racing venues with an important legacy in the state of Kentucky. Customers in the region have long enjoyed our world-class Caesars destinations and, most recently, our horse racing wagering app, Caesars Racebook.
Working with these historic institutions provides an unmatched opportunity to reach sports and racing fans in the state, and we look forward to working with the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission as we prepare to launch later this year.”
In April, the Kentucky Senate passed HB 551 by a 25-12 vote, the final hurdle necessary to legalize sports betting in Kentucky. Following its passage, Governor Andy Beshear signed the bill into law.
The new law will allow Kentucky’s horse racing tracks to be licensed as sports betting facilities for a $500,000 upfront fee. An annual renewal would cost $50,000.
Experts anticipate Kentucky sports betting to launch by the end of 2023 or the start of 2024.
Keeneland and Red Mile gaming venues ready for sports betting
Keeneland President and CEO Shannon Arvin said the partnership with Caesars has exciting potential.
“Caesars is a globally respected brand, and we value their commitment to racing and their expertise in sports wagering,” Arvin said.
Shannon Cobb, Chief Operating Officer for Red Mile, had a similar viewpoint as Arvin’s. “At Red Mile Gaming & Racing, we are excited to continue introducing this historic harness track to new audiences.
Opportunities with sports wagering on site, added to live racing, simulcasting, and HHR Games accomplish goals we have worked toward for several years. Our relationships with Keeneland and Caesars in this venture could not be more valued.”
As part of the deal, the Caesars Sportsbook will offer on-track hospitality and VIP experiences at both racetracks to Caesars Rewards loyalty program members.