Churchill Downs Starts Adding Employees For Online Gambling
Churchill Downs is already the site of the most prestigious horse race in the world, the Kentucky Derby. Now the parent company that owns the famed horse track, Churchill Downs Inc., is preparing to enter a market that is suddenly saturated with participants.
Churchill Downs announced this week that they have gained approval from the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority on $1 million in tax benefits by hiring 50 new employees. The exact job description of these new employees was not revealed, but many believe they know what Churchill Downs is preparing for.
"Online gambling is coming to the US in a big way," said analyst Steven Ryan. "Whether the federal government regulates the industry, or whether regulation comes through the Kentucky Legislature, Internet gambling will be in Kentucky sooner rather than later, and Churchill Downs wants to be ready when that happens."
The company did announce that the new employees would be dealing with a technology based job. The figures regarding how much these employees will make were estimated at $165,000 annually. Churchill Downs did acknowledge that they were related to online gambling.
The move towards providing online poker began for Churchill Downs back in early 2012 when the company acquired Bluff Media. Bluff runs an online poker site, as well as one of the largest and most successful poker magazines in the US. Bluff has already been approved for an Internet gaming license in Nevada, where online gambling has been accepted by lawmakers.
With New Jersey also regulating online casinos earlier this year, analysts now believe the door has been opened for the US to become the largest online gambling market in the world. Dozens of companies have submitted applications to operate online casinos in Nevada. New Jersey and Nevada both hope to have fully operational online casinos by the end of the year.
Kentucky was at the forefront of an online gambling controversy when Governor Steve Beshear attempted to seize the domain names of 141 online gambling sites. Beshear claimed the sites put Kentucky's youth in danger.
A Department of Justice ruling back in December of 2011, clarified the 1961 Wire Act, signaling that only sports betting was illegal under the law. Soon after, lawmakers from dozens of states, including Kentucky, began lobbying their colleagues to change state laws, allowing regulation within the online gambling industry.