Sports betting in Kentucky becomes legal Sept. 7

Published 11:37 am Tuesday, July 11, 2023


Kentucky Today

Gov. Andy Beshear on Monday joined the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission and lawmakers at the Red Mile in Lexington to announce that sports betting in Kentucky will begin in less than 60 days.

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The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission unanimously approved emergency administrative regulations that will govern sports wagering, and Beshear immediately signed them.

Retail locations can open Thursday, Sept. 7, to coincide with the NFL kick-off and the college football season, followed by mobile apps becoming available on Sept. 28.

During the regulation signing ceremony, 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.”

After years of pushing to get sports betting passed, on March 31, the governor signed bipartisan legislation to legalize sports wagering in Kentucky. Since that date, the commission has met with representatives in states that have recently launched sports wagering, as well as industry experts, to learn from best practices and shared experiences.

Rep. Michael Meredith, R-Oakland, who sponsored the sports wagering legislation during the 2023 General Assembly, noted, “We set a pretty tough timeline, less than six months from the day the bill would become law, but you see the work being done by the entire team at the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission. This is why we knew the Racing Commission was the right place for this to be housed and regulated.”

The emergency regulations will take effect immediately after being filed with the Legislative Research Commission, which is expected to be later today or tomorrow. An ordinary regulation was filed at the same time, which includes a period of public comment and legislative review.

Starting Tuesday, July 11, each of Kentucky’s licensed horseracing facilities can apply for a retail sportsbook at its main location or at a licensed satellite location. Each licensed facility will also be permitted to partner with up to three marketing platforms for mobile wagering.

Beshear said he anticipates $23 million in revenue to the state during the first year of operation, which will grow in future years.