Inexperienced Kentucky Sports Betting Regulators Running New Market

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Written By Giovanni Shorter on September 11, 2023
Kentucky Sports Betting

The Kentucky sports betting market kicked off last week with the launch of retail sportsbooks. Additionally, 10 new gambling regulators took the reigns to oversee the new market. These 10 regulators have a combined 100 years of government experience. However, they also have a combined zero years of working in the gaming industry. How will these new regulators fair?

Kentucky Regulators Have No Experience With Sports Betting Industry

Kentucky officials are well aware that they are entering uncharted territories. In other markets, regulators look to include personnel with experience working in the casino or sports betting industry. If not all regulators, at least some serve as advisors who have experience with the gaming side of things.

“It’s different, the way we’re doing it in Kentucky, but it’s one that’s going to lend itself to being properly regulated,” said Andy Beshear, Kentucky Governor to WCPO 9 I-Team. “We’re going to learn as we go. We’re going to make any changes that we need to. But I’m confident that we’re going to be ready on day one.”

The Kentucky Public Protection Cabinet released a statement defending the new employees. Officials state that the employees “met or exceeded requirements in their job descriptions.” Kentucky officials also ensured that the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission is confident in the staff.

With Kentucky sports betting apps launching on Sept. 28, the real test for regulators will be then. Kentucky need only look to its neighbors in Ohio and other sports betting markets to see what can go wrong.

Some Of The Challenges That Can Arise In Sports Betting

Sports betting controversies have been a constant battle for regulators in 2023. Ohio launched in January and has already seen several violations take place in its market. Famously, Alabama baseball coach Brad Bohannon was fired for illegal betting violations at Paycor Stadium. In response to concerns at the time, Kentucky officials confidently stated they would “do things better than Ohio”.

Catching individuals who partake in illegal gambling isn’t the only potential issue regulators will have to deal with. Massachusetts launched sports betting in the first quarter of 2023. Betting on local collegiate games is prohibited per Massachusetts law. However, there have already been several violations of local sportsbooks accepting wagers on local teams.

A glitch in the system led to several unauthorized in-state wagers at Encore Boston Harbor in Everett, MGM Springfield, and the Plainridge Park Casino. These are the three retail locations in Massachusetts. All three locations saw violations.

Issues like these can arise and a swift response is needed. The inexperienced regulators will have to learn quickly to handle whatever setbacks may occur.

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