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Sports gambling symposium to be held at Keeneland Sales Pavilion

People make bets at the South Point hotel and casino sports book in Las Vegas, as an Atlanta Braves game plays.
People make bets at the South Point hotel and casino sports book in Las Vegas, as an Atlanta Braves game plays. AP

The BloodHorse and the Breeders’ Cup is sponsoring a symposium on sports wagering to be held Thursday at the Keeneland Sales Pavilion from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Titled “Sports Wagering and the Impact on Horse Racing,” the symposium will “be organized in a town hall format with sessions focused on: Economics, politics and the consumer.”

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Greg Means of the Alpine Group, a principal lobbyist for the NTRA.

  • Sara Slane, senior vice president of public affairs for the American Gaming Association.

  • John Hindman, general counsel for Fan Duel/TVG.

  • Bill Knaulf, vice president of business operations for Monmouth Park.

  • Dan Spillane, senior vice president for league governance and policy with the NBA.

  • Damon Thayer, majority floor leader for the Kentucky senate.

  • Victor Bigio, consultant, sports betting business development with Sportech.

  • Ed Hannah, vice chairman of the Stronach Group, which owns Pimlico, Gulfstream Park and Santa Anita Park.

  • Daniel Shapiro, vice president of strategy and business development with William Hill.

The symposium is free to the public. Those planning to attend are asked to register here.

Since May 14 when the United States Supreme Court struck down a 1992 federal ruling outlawing commercial sports gambling in most states, thus giving states the opportunity to authorized legal sports gambling, people have wondered how the new provisions would affect horse racing.

Since the Supreme Court ruling, Monmouth Park in New Jersey has instituted sports gambling with much early success. According to the Asbury Park Press, the Monmouth Park Sports Book by William Hill generated a handle of $8,176,212 the first 17 days after sports betting was launched on June 14.

“We are extremely pleased with our numbers,” Dennis Drazen, president and CEO of Darby Development LLC, which operates Monmouth Park, told the Press. “We think they show there is a huge appetite for sports betting.”

New Jersey was one of a few states that had already passed laws putting it in position to institute sports gambling if it was made legal for states to do so. Kentucky is not one of those states, though legislation has been proposed.

In the meantime, Bryan Pettigrew, chief marketing office for Breeders’ Cup Limited, told America’s Best Racing he hopes Thursday’s symposium will provide information and foster ideas on how to take advantage of the new opportunities.

“We want to bring in expert speakers from leagues or people who are already in the sports betting field so they can share what the early results have been,” Pettigrew told ABR. “It’s our hope that attendees can then meet with the panelists afterwards and continue the discussion so that when they return home they can make educated decisions on sports betting.”

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