Kentucky Gives Update On Sports Gambling Applicants; Commission To Vote On Licenses Aug. 22

Written By Nicholaus Garcia on August 11, 2023 - Last Updated on February 16, 2024
Kentucky Less Than A Month From Launching Sports Gambling

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear shared an update on the Kentucky sports betting market, citing that some partnerships were still under wraps. 

However, one partnership that will undoubtedly grab customers’ attention is the deal between DraftKings and the Cumberland Run racetrack in Corbin.

Sports betting license applicants revealed

Beshear released the retail and online sports betting license applicants during his weekly news conference this week.

For now, the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) has seven service provider applicants:

  • bet365
  • BetMGM
  • Caesars
  • Circa Sports
  • DraftKings 
  • FanDuel
  • Penn Sports Interactive (ESPN Bet)

Of the operators with pending applications, notable partnerships with racetracks reportedly include:

  • Caesars Entertainment + Keeneland-owned Red Mile
  • FanDuel + Churchill Downs Inc.
  • BetMGM + Sandy’s Racing & Gaming 
  • DraftKings + Cumberland Run
  • Circa Online Sportsbook + Cumberland Run
  • ESPN Bet/Penn + Ellis Park

In addition to the five tracks above, Oak Grove Gaming and Racing and Turfway Park have applied for licenses, according to the KHRC. They have not announced any partnerships.

Applications are being reviewed by KHRC staff and will be voted on at a meeting on Aug. 22, according to the commission.

“The KHRC is excited to open sports wagering and is working efficiently to meet the necessary deadlines,” KHRC Chairman Jonathan Rabinowitz said in a news release. 

“This is a careful process dedicated to wagering integrity and protecting bettors in the state of Kentucky.”

KY governor provides sports betting update

In his weekly news conference on Thursday, Beshear said the countdown to the September launch is on. 

“Kentuckians can plan to place their first sports wagers, at a retail location, in just 28 days.”

Beshear has expressed multiple times that KY sports betting would start in time for 2023 NFL sports betting season.

He continued:

“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.”

Cumberland Run inks two deals

According to Gaming Today, Cumberland Run agreed to partnerships with both DraftKings and the Circa Online Sportsbook. Ellis Park is partnering with ESPN Bet/Penn Interactive, according to Gaming Today. 

Per Kentucky sports betting law, racetracks can sign online partnerships with up to three operators and also open in-person sportsbooks.

Kentucky will be DraftKings’ 21st market, while the Bluegrass State will be Circa’s fourth. 

The Circa Sportsbook is live in only Nevada, Iowa and Colorado. 

Photo by PlayUSA
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Nicholaus Garcia

Nick Garcia is a senior reporter for PlayUSA. Garcia provides analysis and in-depth coverage of the gambling industry with a key focus on online casinos, sports betting and financial markets. Garcia has been covering the US gambling market since 2017. He attended Texas Tech University as an undergrad and received a Master of Arts in Journalism from Columbia College Chicago.

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