Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear

First Kentucky Sports Wager Placed By Gov. Beshear At Churchill Downs

The Governor of Kentucky, Andy Beshear, placed the first in-person sports wager at Churchill Downs, the Kentucky Public Protection Cabinet said in a release Thursday morning. The bet was a $20 parlay on the win "over" for the University of Kentucky and University of Louisville football teams, and the "under" for Duke University's squad. "Today is a great day to celebrate and have a little bit of fun doing so," said Gov. Beshear. "It has taken many years to get here, but sports wagering is finally a reality in Kentucky....

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After “Spreading Like Rabbits,” The Plug Has Been Pulled On Gray Games In Kentucky

They first showed up in Kentucky in 2021. Called gray games, they looked and acted like a slot machines, but the companies that manufactured the machines made the spurious claim that they were legal because they were actually games of skill. Before long, the machines grew to be so popular that, by some estimates, there were more than 5,000 of them, taking up residence in bars, restaurants and convenience stores across the state. "They spread like rabbits," said Majority Floor Leader Senator Damon Thayer of the games that got their...

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Ellis Park to Open at Full Capacity

In accordance with the CDC and Commonwealth of Kentucky, Ellis Park will be open at full capacity for its live race meet June 27 to Sept. 4. Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear announced that June 11 all mask restrictions and capacity restrictions will be lifted in the commonwealth. Tickets will go on sale May 19. The Governor's announcement stated that vaccinated individuals no longer need to wear a mask nor socially distance from each other in public settings. Based on this guidance, Ellis Entertainment has stopped enforcing mask restrictions at the...

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Slight Delay in HHR Bill's Signage; 'Extension Facility' Greenlighted for Kentucky Downs

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear on Tuesday reaffirmed his vow to sign the historical horse race (HHR) gaming bill that passed both chambers of the state legislature last week, but he explained that a decision by the Senate to adjourn through this week means that the HHR-enabling measure won't become law until the end of the month at the earliest. Beshear's remarks came via videoconference at the start of the Feb. 16 KHRC meeting. After the governor spoke, commissioners unanimously voted in a series of "emergency" measures contingent on the bill...

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Churchill Backstretch to Open May 11, Opening Date For 4-Day Race Weeks TBA

Churchill Downs has been cleared by Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear to open its backstretch area May 11 so long as the track adheres to enhanced pandemic precautions approved by the state. Beshear announced the clearance Wednesday at his daily COVID-19 video press conference as part of a phased-in reopening for various state industries. Churchill followed up about an hour later with a press release that included specifics pertinent to horsemen. Neither Beshear nor the track pinpointed an exact date for the return of live racing. But the Churchill release stated...

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Kentucky Budget Bill Includes $1.5M for Drug Testing Lab

Kentucky's executive branch budget bill that is awaiting either passage or line-item vetoes from Gov. Andy Beshear contains a $1.5-million restricted funds transfer from the Equine Drug Research Council (EDRC) to the University of Kentucky (UK) to open a national equine drug testing laboratory. The budget bill also includes a $500,000 allotment from the state's general fund into the budget of the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) to hire a safety steward and additional investigators who would be assigned to the state's tracks. A third general fund appropriation would give...

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Beshear In No Hurry to Let Kentucky Tracks Resume Racing

When asked at his Friday press briefing whether or not he will give tracks in his state permission any time soon to hold races without fans in the stands, Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear made it clear that he will require the tracks to stay closed for the foreseeable future. "At least as long as you are seeing an escalation (of the coronavirus), you would still have to have groups of people that would have to come together to make that happen," he said. "It would be the same as the...

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