Steve Bittenbender

Reporter: Steve Bittenbender

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Steve Bittenbender covers Midwest and Gulport news for He also specializes in sports betting and horse racing. Steve is a veteran reporter and brings more than two decades of experience covering sports, business and politics. He joined in 2019.

Steve has also covered major collegiate and professional sports for the Associated Press and the Louisville Courier-Journal and is frequently featured on local network TV newscasts and podcasts for his horse racing business and legislative expertise. A Reuters contributor, he has also previously served as editor for Government Security News.

Steve lives in Louisville, Kentucky -- the epicenter of the US horse racing industry -- with his wife and son. He is also an avid poker player, having learned from his uncle as a wholesome after-school pastime with cookies and milk.

Contact Steve at

Areas of Expertise

1697 stories by Steve Bittenbender

Rod Ratcliff

Indiana Gaming Commission Says Suspended Ratcliff Has Not Resolved Trustee Issue

A trustee to oversee Rod Ratcliff's ownership stake in Spectacle Entertainment has yet to be appointed, the Indiana Gaming Commission told It has been three weeks since the commission suspended his gaming license and ordered the longtime casino executive to refrain...

Steve Bittenbender January 14, 2021
Nevada mail fraud

Las Vegas Woman Gets Three Years in Federal Prison for Role in Sweepstakes Scam

A 50-year-old Las Vegas woman received a three-year federal prison sentence Wednesday for her role in a $9 million criminal scheme. The action targeted mostly elderly and other vulnerable victims who received fraudulent mailers claiming they won prizes. In addition to the...

Steve Bittenbender January 13, 2021
Indiana welcome sign

Indiana Lawmakers File iGaming Legislation as Sports Betting Continues to Grow

Indiana lawmakers have filed bills to open the door to online casino gaming in the state, as many have expected. State Sen. Jon Ford (R-Terre Haute) told Tuesday that the legislation is a “natural progression” for gaming in the Hoosier state....

Steve Bittenbender January 13, 2021
New Jersey sports betting

NJ Horsemen, Sports Leagues Reach Agreement in PASPA Bond Case

The historic case that opened the door to sports betting across the United States apparently has come to an end. On Monday, US District Judge Freda L. Wolfson signed off on an agreement between the country’s major professional and collegiate sports leagues...

Steve Bittenbender January 12, 2021

2020 Horse Racing Handle Nearly on Par with 2019 Despite COVID, But Purses Fall Sharply

Betting on US horse racing in 2020 nearly held its ground from 2019. But purses, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, took a major hit. That’s according to year-end data released by Equibase last week. Bettors wagered more than $10.9 billion on thoroughbred...

Steve Bittenbender January 11, 2021
Kentucky Sports Betting

Kentucky Lawmaker Files Sports Betting Bill for the 2021 Legislative Session

Kentucky state Rep. Adam Koenig has once again filed legislation seeking to legalize sports betting in the state. The Erlanger, Kentucky Republican has previously filed similar legislation. Last year, the state Licensing, Occupations, and Administrative Regulations (LOAR) Committee, which Koenig chairs, unanimously...

Steve Bittenbender January 11, 2021
Mega Millions Powerball

$600M Mega Millions, $550M Powerball Jackpots Up For Grabs This Week

Neither the Mega Millions grand prize nor the Powerball jackpot were claimed this weekend. That means the multi-state lottery games’ upcoming mid-week drawings will be for two of the richest prizes ever. Tuesday night’s Mega Millions jackpot will be worth an estimated...

Steve Bittenbender January 10, 2021

Elon Musk New World’s Richest Man at $190B, as Las Vegas May Help Him Make More Money

Move over Jeff Bezos, there’s a new richest person in the world. On Thursday, Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who is seeking to transform transportation in Las Vegas, officially took over that title. Forbes tracks that in real-time on its web site. As...

Steve Bittenbender January 9, 2021
Churchill Downs Tennessee sports betting

Tennessee Lottery Gives First Approval for Churchill Downs to Offer Sports Betting

Tennessee Education Lottery Corp. (TELC) officials on Wednesday gave preliminary approval to Churchill Downs Interactive Gaming to operate a sportsbook in the Volunteer State. There still remain a few items for the lottery to address with the Louisville-based company before it can...

Steve Bittenbender January 9, 2021
New York Sports Betting

New York Lawmakers’ Online Sports Betting Bill Takes Different Approach From Cuomo

Two New York state lawmakers filed legislation on Thursday to legalize mobile sports betting. However, they’re proposing a different format than what Gov. Andrew Cuomo proposed earlier in the week. Under Senate Bill S1183 filed by state Sen. Joseph Addabbo, D-Queens, the...

Steve Bittenbender January 9, 2021

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