Caesars Inks Deals with Keeneland, Red Mile for Kentucky Sports Betting Access

Posted on: May 16, 2023, 12:19h. 

Last updated on: May 17, 2023, 03:24h.

Caesars Entertainment said Tuesday it reached agreements with racetrack operators Keeneland and Red Mile Gaming & Racing. That paves the way for the casino giant to offer mobile sports wagering in Kentucky.

Caesars Keeneland
Scenes from the Keeneland Fall Meet 2018. Caesars reached Kentucky deals with that race course and Red Mile. (Image: David Coyle/TeamCoyle)

Financial terms of the accords weren’t disclosed. But deal terms include provisions under which Caesars will open the only brick-and-mortar sportsbooks in the commonwealth. Kentucky lawmakers approved sports wagering last month and hope to see it launched by the start of the 2023 football season.

Following the debuts of mobile sports betting in Ohio and Massachusetts earlier this year, Kentucky is the only other state of note expected to roll out online sports wagering before the end of 2023.

Caesars Sportsbook will operate an on-premise retail sportsbook at Red Mile, subject to regulatory approvals, so guests can enjoy the excitement of sports betting, gaming, and simulcasting all under one roof,” according to a statement.

Caesars currently doesn’t operate a land-based gaming venue in Kentucky. It runs casinos in Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio and plans to open one in Virginia, all of which border the commonwealth.

Caesars Expanding Horse Racing Footprint

While the agreements with Keeneland and Red Mile Gaming & Racing set the stage for Caesars to be a player in the Kentucky sports wagering scene, the accords also highlight the casino operator’s commitment to expanding its horse racing presence.

Those efforts include a partnership with the New York Racing Association, Horseshoe Las Vegas hosting the annual National Horseplayers Championship, and the upcoming Harrah’s Columbus Racing & Casino in Nebraska. The latter features a mile-long thoroughbred racetrack.

With Keeneland and Red Mile, Caesars is partnering with a pair of the most venerable names in horse racing. The former is the premier horse auctioneer, holding five such events per year, and has live racing in April and October.

“Red Mile, established in 1875, is the second-oldest harness racing track in the world, and a premier gaming destination in Kentucky, featuring over 950 Historical Horse Racing machines,” according to the statement.

Caesars Rewards Tie-Ins

Like the Caesars Sportsbook app and its internet casino platform, the operator will leverage its Caesars Rewards loyalty program in the agreements with Keeneland and Red Mile. At both tracks, Caesars Sportsbook will offer hospitality and VIP rewards. Once sports wagering debuts in Kentucky, bettors can start accumulating Caesars Rewards points and tier credits.

Every wager placed rewards the bettor with Tier Credits for status and Reward Credits that can be used to unlock world-class Caesars Rewards experiences and discounted getaways at Caesars Entertainment destinations across the United States,” said the operator in the press release.

The tier levels in Caesars Rewards are Gold, Platinum, Diamond, Diamond Plus, Diamond Elite, and Seven Stars. With more than 60 million members, it’s the gaming industry’s largest customer loyalty program.