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Kentucky, A History of Lottery & Horse Racing

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When most Americans get asked what they most associate the Bluegrass State with, the first answer will likely be whiskey, followed by naming the ripe farming region as the home of the world’s most famous horse race, the Kentucky Derby, an event that generates upwards of $500 million in business. Without question, this slice of the US has always been renowned for its storied thoroughbred past, traced back to 18th century Kentucky, showing its roots in private track races from this period.

Despite the state acting as a hotbed for equestrian racing, it has never been synonymous with gambling. That is so, even with Dolly Parton’s Kentucky Gambler and, at one point, Newport, a small city of some fifteen thousand people in Campbell County, getting pegged to become what eventually turned into Las Vegas. Few people know that Sin City was a nickname first used to describe Newport, a town rich with Italian immigrants, that got used as inspiration for Mario Puzzo’s The Godfather.

Today, Kentucky, like always, does not have a super liberal stance regarding games of chance. There are no land-based and KY online casinos. However, the state decided to get with the times and legalized sports betting on March 31, 2023, becoming the 34th US region to do so. It also allowed mobile wagering, coming in as the 25th territory in the country to permit this activity. Yet, below, we explore its deep and vibrant horse racing past and its booming lottery as Kentucky approves of two other forms of betting.

Kentucky’s Horse Racing Linage

Kentucky bears the label Bluegrass State because its seasonal grass carries a rich emerald to blue-green color. The grass is not ideal for hay but is terrific for pastures since it is very palatable and nutritious. Overall, the equine sector in Kentucky is a massive part of the region’s agribusiness. Per data supplied by the University of Kentucky, this industry creates over forty thousand jobs, and it contributes more than three billion to the local economy through the breeding, buying/selling, and racing of horses.

These noble creatures are a sizeable part of Kentucky’s identity. As settlers pushed into this area of the United States in the 18th century, individuals with equestrian experience quickly noticed the land’s potential for breeding horses. They recognized its wealth of quality mineral-based water was excellent for producing dense horse bones. So, they started raising thoroughbreds, and at the same time, racing them was kicking off on the East Coast. During this period, there were no national or state-organized racing competitions. Races were confined to small-town tracks and private farm ones. Nevertheless, eventually, these contests grew bigger, which led to the creation of more impressive courses that started to attract people from all corners of the country.

Revolutionary War hero William Whitley is credited as one of the pioneers of Kentucky horse racing, as he built the Sportsman’s Hill private circular track around 1780. He founded this venue partly due to his hate of the British, declaring that on his track, the race would get run counterclockwise on dirt and not clockwise on grass as English tradition declares.

In 1836, Henry Farris founded the Spring Hill Race Course near Sportsman’s Hill, earning this area the nickname the Saratoga of the South, attracting loads of Southern socialites each summer. The Civil War halted Kentucky’s horse racing, as the elites stopped visiting the area, until in 1875, Louisville played host to the Kentucky Derby, which reestablished this sector in a big way.       

The Establishment of the Kentucky Lottery

If one does a Google search on lottery games in Kentucky, one will see that lotto-style draws were legalized in this section of the nation in April 1989. Six months prior, the state’s residents voted in favor of this, resulting in a 60.08% to 39.2% increase. Hence, this brought forward a constitutional amendment that rendered void Section 226, which prohibited lotteries in Kentucky. The move saw the establishment of the Kentucky Lottery Corporation, which offers a wide range of games, including famed draws like Mega Millions and Powerball, on top of daily ones, and scratch-off tickets. 

Officials say that this hobby generated, in the 2023 fiscal year, $1.8 billion in total sales, representing a 9.8% rise compared to the previous year. Over $380 million were awarded scholarships to Kentucky college students via grant funding.

While officially regulated lotteries started running in 1989 in Kentucky, the pastime has a two-century-long history. Like with horse racing, evidence of the initial lotteries can be dated to the 18th century and used to gather funds for constructing bridges, roads, and public buildings. The initial authorized one happened in 1792 and was used to raise money for the building of a churn in Lexington.

In the 1820s, the state legislature banned them because of public social and economic concerns. Still, those restrictions were enforced only in a few places, allowing illegal draws to operate in the state. Nowadays, the Kentucky Lottery is carefully regulated and has given out around $4 billion in grants and scholarships to students, dramatically helping education in the state.

Latest News

Southampton Football Club announces Rollbit as its Front-of-Shirt Partner

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Southampton Football Club has announced that Rollbit, an innovator in the world of online gaming and entertainment, has become its official Front-of-Shirt Partner.

The partnership will see Rollbit’s logo front and centre of the Men’s First Team shirts and they will have visibility around St Mary’s through LED advertising and hospitality.

Launched in 2020, Rollbit is making huge strides in the online gaming, esports and entertainment space. Through their platform, Rollbit blends entertainment with investment in an innovative way, including the creation of digital gaming spaces for its users to explore.

The company has grown to have a huge global presence, with recent partnerships including the likes of Serie A giants Napoli and with the world’s most subscribed esports gaming team, FaZe Clan, who have over 8.5million subscribers on YouTube alone.

Southampton Football Club becomes Rollbit’s first partner within the Premier League, bringing together two organisations that share a commitment to innovation and delivering great experiences for their respective audiences.

Greg Baker, Chief Revenue Officer for Southampton Football Club said: “We’re pleased to welcome Rollbit, a leader in the online gaming space, into the Saints family as our official Front-of-Shirt Partner. This partnership marks a dynamic fusion of technology and sport, at an exciting time for the club as we embark on our journey back in the Premier League. Together, we look forward to creating unforgettable moments for our fans.”

Sam Norman, Head of Partnerships for Rollbit said: “Rollbit is delighted to announce its latest partnership with Southampton FC following on from their incredible win in the playoff final. We feel Southampton is the perfect club to embark on this journey with as we look to continue to expand our presence globally with one of the Premier League’s most respected teams. We believe in the vision of the club that embodies our commitment to innovation and excellence and look forward to cheering on with Saints fans everywhere in this exciting next chapter for Southampton.”

 

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Compliance Updates

Amid Public Outcry, Montenegro’s Anti – Digital Gambling Law Set for August Revisions

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In January 2024, Montenegro enacted amendments to its gambling laws that effectively ban the use of modern electronic payment methods, including Apple Pay, PayPal, mobile banking, IPS, and e-banking. This move has raised eyebrows across the global financial community, including the European betting and iGaming sectors.

Public Outcry and Anticipated Changes Expected in August

The controversial ban led to significant public outcry and industry backlash. In response, a new version of the law is allegedly expected in August, yet remains to be seen whether it will address some of these concerns.

The Montenegro EU Paradox

Ironically, a few months ago, the case gained media focus and went viral after the Minister of Finance stated that the country has no obligation to comply with EU rules. This paradoxical stance is surprising for a nation actively seeking EU membership and aiming to integrate into the digital business world.

Historical Context

In 2021, the European Commission urged Montenegro to strengthen its efforts to counter money laundering. However, the January 2024 amendments seem to move in the opposite direction, potentially isolating the country from EU practices and global financial community trends.

Industry Response

Since the beginning of 2024, Montenegro’s gambling sector has been in turmoil. The amendments, which force bettors to use cash or specific terminals for transactions, have caused significant inconvenience. This has led to business disruptions and investor uncertainty.

The industry has responded strongly against these changes. A petition to halt the amendments received 25,000 signatures in just five days. Montenegro Bet, the country’s trade association, has submitted the petition to the assembly and initiated a constitutional review. They are also engaging with international institutions to highlight the negative impacts of the law changes.

Massive Lawsuits Ahead

Multiple operators are preparing legal action, including a lawsuit before the International Court for Settlement of Investment Disputes, due to the apparent corruptive practices and unequal market access facilitated by the new law.

Looking Ahead

As August approaches, the industry and public are hopeful for revisions to the law that will align Montenegro with EU standards and global financial trends. The prohibition of safe and advanced online payment methods, in favor of promoting cash transactions, remains a troubling development that demands urgent attention and action.

 

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eSports

Oddin.gg fuels Dafabet with its esports odds feed and a variety of fast betting content including eCricket

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Oddin.gg is proud to announce its new partnership with Dafabet, a globally recognized platform and online betting powerhouse with global reach. Oddin.gg’s awarded odds feed has further improved the offer of one of the world’s biggest online bookmakers.

Dafabet stands out as one of the premier online betting platforms, boasting a vast, worldwide user base and a top-quality selection of offerings. With the integration of Oddin.gg’s comprehensive suite of esports products, Dafabet will enhance its esports betting experience for bettors by providing creative, esports-only markets and superior betting odds.

Leveraging Oddin.gg’s cutting-edge odds feed, known for its reliability, industry-leading uptime, and profitability, Dafabet will offer an enriched betting experience. The Dafa Sports betting site will also feature Oddin.gg’s fast betting content, including eFootball, eBasketball, and a unique eCricket.

Additionally, it will introduce a globally unique Counter Strike 2, 1 on 1 format and both male and female versions of a fast-paced table tennis betting product.

By incorporating Oddin.gg’s advanced technology, Dafabet will expand its esports markets, offering a broader range of options to its users regardless of their preferred platform: desktop, Android, iOS. This integration not only enriches Dafabet’s esports portfolio but also sets a new industry standard, combining Dafabet’s robust betting infrastructure with Oddin.gg’s expertise in esports betting.

James Barnfather, Head of Sports at Dafabet, comments: “With the esports industry skyrocketing, a trend we’ve already observed in our sportsbook, we recognized the need to supercharge our offerings to match market demand. Choosing Oddin.gg was an easy choice due to their unparalleled expertise and ideal product suite for our needs. This new alliance with Oddin.gg empowers us to intensify our commitment to esports betting globally. We have been eagerly anticipating the launch of these enhanced features for our players. On top of it, we see great potential in a 24/7 eCricket solution in line with growing appetite for cricket betting, yet lacking enough content such as football. The product is a perfect solution to fill the gaps. On the integration side, we have collaborated with various partners, and the feedback on Oddin’s integration has been overwhelmingly positive. Our team rates it as one of the best experiences, noting the prompt and precise responses.

Marek Suchar, Managing Director and Co-founder at Oddin.gg, explained why he is enthusiastic about the partnership: “We are really excited about this partnership with such a strong and well-known traditional brand. We admire the top expertise of Dafabet’s team combined with the massive community impact they have with their sponsorships. We feel honored to bring the most engaging esports betting experience to all Dafabet’s clients globally. Dafabet is also renowned for their commitment to responsible gaming and integrity which is in line with our long-term vision for the esports industry.”

 

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