Kentucky To Launch Retail Sports Betting Sept. 7, Same Day As NFL Season Kicks Off; Online To Begin Sept. 28

Written By Nicholaus Garcia on July 10, 2023
Kentucky Times Sports Betting For Start Of NFL Season

It’s time to start considering potential bets because Kentucky sports betting is coming.

On Monday, Gov. Andy Beshear approved emergency regulations passed by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC). The regulations allow retail sports betting to begin on Sept. 7, which happens to be the first game of the NFL season. In addition, the rules permit online sports betting to launch on Sept. 28.

In March, Beshear signed HB 551, legalizing sports betting in Kentucky. 

Time for the licensing process to begin

With rules and regulations out of the way, the commission can begin working on licensing and applications, which KHRC Executive Director Jamie Eads confirmed.

“Our wagering compliance team is experienced and well-suited to lead this new area of wagering,” Eads said. “Our next step is to open licensing and start reviewing applications.”

From the start, the goal has been to launch in time for NFL sports betting. 

In a news releaseBeshear said:

“This is a historic day for our commonwealth — sports wagering will open for the first time in Kentucky in less than 60 days. 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.”

Racetrack partnerships coming soon

With regulations in place, the nine racetracks can begin their search for potential sports betting partners. 

Each racetrack will be able to partner with up to three online operators and have a retail sportsbook. State lawmakers anticipate that sports betting could bring in roughly $23 million in tax revenue annually. 

Red Mile, where Monday’s hearing took place, announced in May it had partnered with Ceasars Entertainment to build a retail Caesars Sportsbook at the facility. Red Mile is home to over 950 historical horse racing machines, similar to slot machines. 

Sadly, sports betting will not be up and running for week 1 of college football. The University of Louisville hosts Georgia Tech on Sept. 1, while the University of Kentucky welcomes Ball State on Sept. 2.

However, sportsbooks should be ready to accept wagers when Kentucky takes on Eastern Kentucky on Sept. 9, and Louisville hosts Murray State on Sept. 7.

Photo by Justin Rex/AP photo; illustrated 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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