With the full launch of Kentucky sports betting starting in one week, on Thursday, the state’s Sports Wagering Council approved adding more sports to the state’s sports betting catalog. In a meeting that lasted just 10 minutes, the council recommended to Kentucky Horse Racing Executive Director Jamie Eads that she allow wagering on Formula 1 auto racing, Australia’s National Rugby League, the Universal Tennis League and two mixed martial arts organizations, Bellator and the Professional Fighters League.
F1 was somewhat of a surprise omission when the council approved the initial slate of sports and events late last month. The open-wheel global racing circuit has gained popularity in the U.S. in recent years. This year’s schedule includes three stops in the States, including next month’s Lenovo United States Grand Prix in Texas and November’s Heineken Las Vegas Grand Prix.
Upon Eads’ approval, Kentucky’s online licensed sports betting operators and brick-and-mortar sportsbooks will be able to offer wagering markets. Two weeks ago, brick-and-mortar sportsbooks opened in the state at select horse racing tracks and historical horse racing gaming halls.
Question Raised About Minor Competitors
The inclusion of additional tennis events led to a brief discussion about events involving minors as competitors. Hans Stokke, the director of sports wagering for the KHRC, explained the state’s rules on that to the council.
“The limitations for age restriction on sporting events in the regulations pertain to team events, where more than half of the team is under 18 years of age,” Stokke said. “So, those would be prohibited under our regulations, but individual sports where minors are competing in a professional context that is permissible for sports wagering in Kentucky.”
Kentucky is one of the few states where sportsbooks are allowed to accept wagers from adults as young as 18. While Bet365 and DraftKings have said they will allow 18-year-olds to create accounts, other operators approved in the state have said they will only allow those 21 and older to set up accounts and place wagers.
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