Kentucky Lawmakers Aiming For Sportsbooks To Launch By NFL Season

Written By Giovanni Shorter on April 5, 2023
Kentucky Sports Betting Launch

While there is no official word on a launch day for Kentucky sports betting, one Senator believes it will be this fall. According to Sen. Damon Thayer, the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission is vying for sports betting to go live in time for the 2023 NFL season. While online sportsbooks may not be ready in time, retail sportsbooks could launch in the fall.

Lawmakers Want Kentucky Sportsbooks ASAP

The law officially goes into effect in June and gives the racing commission six months to launch the market. This would see sports betting live towards the end of 2023. According to Sen. Thayer, the racing commission is hoping to expedite this timeline.

“I have spoken with Jonathan Rabinowitz, the chairman of the racing commission, and his hope is to move faster than that and potentially have brick and mortar sports betting available by football season in the fall,” said Damon Thayer to Local 12.

Regulations will allow local horse racing tracks to offer retail sports betting. This would give residents up to nine total locations to bet on sports once the market is live. Each locale will be allowed up to three mobile Kentucky sportsbooks.

Kentucky is estimated to rake in approximately $23 million annually in taxes from the betting market. With this potential influx of funds on the horizon, it is understandable why lawmakers want to launch as soon as possible.

Most Likely Launch Date In Kentucky

With the push to be live in time for the 2023 NFL season, fans can expect a launch date for retail likely in November. The law does not go into effect until late June and regulations are a timely process.

First, the commission will need to meet, likely several times, to discuss the final regulatory rules. Then a public comment period will take place that takes 30 days in Kentucky. Following this, final votes will take place to approve the regulations. Sportsbooks will then begin accepting and approving applications from operators.

While it is possible for retail sports betting to launch sooner than November, locals should temper their expectations. The fall target will be on the commission’s mind, but they won’t know for sure how long regulations will take until after the law goes into effect.

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Giovanni Shorter

Giovanni Shorter is a sports enthusiast and writer with a passion for the legal and industry side of the sports betting market. Giovanni got his education from Florida State University where he honed his writing style writing narratives and short stories. He has spent his professional career covering sports and entertainment through articles and blogs and continues to look at the industry from multiple angles.

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