There were a couple of surprises from the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission in a meeting where the group was expected to approve all of its applicants for both retail and online sports betting in the state.
Most notably, Fanatics was added to the list of approved online operators, bringing the total number of online brands in the state to eight. Fanatics partnered with Oak Grove Racetrack in Western Kentucky for online-only access to the state.
The application from Fanatics did come in later, but KHRC Chairman Jon Rabinowitz did point out that the license approvals today were only for temporary licenses.
“Let me just remind these are temporary licenses with ongoing review, so if something comes up…we don’t think it will, Fanatics is in other jurisdictions…then it will present itself there,” he told the press on Tuesday.
Another surprise entrant on the list was Kambi, which was approved for a service provider license. While none of the online operators use Kambi as their odds provider, Churchill Downs does have an existing partnership with the group. Kambi confirmed to SBC Americas that the company will power the retail sportsbooks at Churchill Downs properties in the state.
Here is a full list of the online operators approved for a temporary license in Kentucky and their track partners:
bet365 and Sandy’s Racing and Gaming (online only)
BetMGM and Sandy’s Racing and Gaming (online and retail)
Caesars and The Red Mile / Keeneland (online and retail)
Circa and The Mint Gaming Hall at Cumberland and Cumberland Run (online only)
DraftKings and The Mint Gaming Hall at Cumberland and Cumberland Run (online and retail)
Fanatics and Oak Grove (online only)
FanDuel and Turfway Park (online only)
Penn and Ellis Park
There are still some administrative pieces that need to be completed before launch can take place on Sept. 7. Namely, the event wagering catalog needs to be finalized and approved. The matter was addressed during the meeting and Rabinowitz and his team said the catalog is in the works to be approved before the scheduled retail sportsbook launch date.
While this is the list of retail and online operators for now, there is potential for this list to grow. Rabinowitz and KHRC Executive Director Jamie Eads confirmed that the two tracks that have not applied for a license, Kentucky Downs and Keeneland, have until Sept. 1 to get an application in for 2024.