Kentucky Governor Creates Sports Betting Advisory Council to Guide Wagering

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear signed the executive order a few days after he did the same for emergency sports betting regulations aimed at getting event wagering up and running in the state by September.

Jul 17, 2023 • 12:06 ET • 2 min read
Kentucky Derby
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

The ongoing oversight of legal sports betting in the Bluegrass State will have a few more cooks in the kitchen.

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear announced last week he signed an executive order creating a “Sports Wagering Advisory Council” that will, as its name suggests, guide oversight of retail and online sports betting sites in the state. 

Beshear’s order notes that it is "beneficial" to Kentuckians to have such an advisory group in place to help the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission regulate the sports-betting industry and offer advice to the governor, future governors, and regulators. The governor will appoint a majority of members of the new body.

“The council will assist in carrying out legal requirements and support the integrity of sports betting in Kentucky,” a press release noted. “Council members will include the Public Protection Cabinet secretary, three members and an employee of the Horse Racing Commission and two at-large members.”

Reading the fine print

Beshear signed the executive order a few days after he did the same for emergency sports betting regulations aimed at getting event wagering up and running in the state by September. Some brick-and-mortar sportsbooks should be open in time for the start of the NFL’s regular season on September 7, while the state is eyeing September 28 for mobile apps and sites to begin taking action. 

The executive order contains further insight into the governor’s thinking on the subject of Kentucky sports betting. The council will advise the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission on drafting new regulations, budgeting, and cooperation with other states, among other things.

The order also notes that sports wagering will mean an estimated $23 million or so a year in state revenue that will flow to shoring up the commonwealth’s pension funds and assisting people with gambling addictions. 

"Sports wagering will add to Kentucky's record-breaking economic momentum, offer jobs for Kentuckians, boost tourism and ensure money stays within our borders,” the order says. “This new revenue will not only help Kentucky communities, it will also provide Kentuckians with an additional avenue for entertainment."

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