Kentucky Launching Retail, Online Sportsbooks In September

, ,
Written By Giovanni Shorter | Last Updated
Kentucky Sportsbooks Launch

The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission has announced the rollout dates for when local sportsbooks will go live. Retail operators will begin launching Sept. 7 while online sportsbooks in Kentucky will launch Sept. 28. This timetable falls in line with lawmakers’ initial goal for Kentucky sports betting to be live in time for the NFL season. Residents in the Bluegrass State will be able to wager on Week 1 odds.

Kentucky Sportsbooks Incoming

This launch window will see the market live in less than 60 days. Members voted unanimously to approve the emergency administrative regulations that will define sports wagering in Kentucky. Several local racetracks and facilities are eligible to apply for betting licenses in Kentucky. There will be no shortage of options for Kentuckians.

Kentucky Facilities Eligible To Apply To Be Sports Betting Locations

  • Churchill Downs Louisville
  • Cumberland Run, coming soon to Corbin
  • Derby City Gaming in Louisville
  • Derby City Gaming, coming soon to downtown Louisville
  • Ellis Park Owensboro, coming soon
  • Ellis Park, Henderson
  • Keeneland, Lexington
  • Kentucky Downs, Franklin
  • The Mint Gaming Hall, Bowling Green
  • Newport Racing and Gaming, Newport
  • Oak Grove Gaming and Racing, Oak Grove
  • The Red Mile in Lexington
  • Sandy’s Gaming and Racing, coming soon to Ashland
  • Turfway Park, Florence

Retail sportsbooks launching ahead of mobile operations are not uncommon. Both Maryland and Massachusetts recently launched sportsbooks and followed a similar launching structure. This process allows betting to go live while giving regulators more time to prepare for the launch of the best sports betting sites.

“This is a historic day for our commonwealth – sports wagering will open for the first time in Kentucky in less than 60 days,” Gov. Andy Beshear said. “Bringing sports wagering to the state not only gives Kentuckians a much-anticipated new form of entertainment, but also brings money to the state to support pensions, freeing up money that can be used to build a better Kentucky through the funding of education, economic development, disaster recovery and other necessary projects, like providing cleaner water, building roads and high-speed internet.”

What Fans Can Expect From A Kentucky Betting Market

Kentucky will be a full-service sports betting market when it launches. The market will be similar to its neighbors in Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio. Both retail and online options will be plenty available to residents and tourists alike.

Kentucky sports betting bill HB 551 allows for up to 30 mobile operators to launch. These mobile apps will be accessible statewide. Fans can only access Kentucky betting odds while in Kentucky.

Kentucky sportsbooks will offer odds on all major professional sporting events as well as collegiate events. Being home to major college programs will make Kentucky a major hub for college sports betting once the market launches.

What Is Left For Lawmakers To Do?

The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission still has work to do in order to reach these launch targets. Sports betting applications must be reviewed and approved and this process could take weeks. Online operators will also need to test their servers to ensure a smooth launch with mobile apps.

In order to launch, mobile operators need to partner with local racetracks in Kentucky. Partnerships have already begun rearing their heads as both FanDuel and Caesars Sportsbook have partnered with Churchill Downs and Keeneland and Red Mile respectively.

These deals will need final approval from the commission in order to fully gain market access in Kentucky. The announcement of the launch dates for both retail and online betting shows that the Kentucky market is well on its way.