Kentucky Governor Gives Updated Timeline For Sports Gambling Launch

Written By Katarina Vojvodic on August 18, 2023 - Last Updated on August 21, 2023
Jockeys and Horses Multi-Colored Neon Sign with Kentucky sports betting coming soon

As the opening day of Kentucky sports betting is approaching fast, Gov. Andy Beshear provided new details regarding the launch.

Beshear revealed a timeline of key dates:

  • In-person betting will officially start at 10 a.m. (EDT) on Sep. 7 at licensed retail sportsbooks.
  • The earliest time for Kentucky players to pre-register an account with approved mobile applications would be 6 a.m. (EDT) Aug. 28. Players can only deposit money into their pre-registered account with approved mobile applications.

The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) will meet on Aug. 22 to vote on the license applications. Their vote will define the list of approved retail facilities and online sportsbook applications.

Kentucky rolls out a tiered sports betting implementation

Like a few other states, Kentucky decided to roll out sports betting using a tiered implementation. The Kentucky regulators believe such realization would be better as it would allow testing of policies and procedures before the full launch.

In a news release on, Kentucky Horse Racing Commission Chairman Jonathan Rabinowitz said:

“The KHRC is excited to open sports wagering and is working efficiently to meet the necessary deadlines. This is a careful process dedicated to wagering integrity and protecting bettors in the state of Kentucky.”

Sports betting in Kentucky is finally happening after years of trying

On, Gov. Beshear said:

“We are just three weeks away from sports wagering in Kentucky. We are ready to deliver the quality entertainment experience Kentuckians asked for while bringing money to the state to support pensions and free up funds that can be used to build a better Kentucky.”

Earlier this month, Beshear announced the retail locations and sports betting applicants seeking licensure in Kentucky.

In July, Beshear and the KHRC announced that Kentuckians could make their first-ever sports bets in September. Soon after, the KHRC members unanimously approved emergency administrative regulations to control state sports betting.

After years of trying to get a sports betting bill passed, the Kentucky Senate passed legislation Mar. 30 by a 25-12 vote. It needed 23 votes to pass by a 3/5 margin at the time.

House Bill 551 legalized sports betting in Kentucky, making it the first state to legalize it in 2023 and the 37th state in general.

Gambling on sports could bring Kentucky $23 million annually

According to estimations, sports betting in Kentucky could generate a revenue increase of $23 million a year upon full implementation. The funds will be dedicated to:

  • The Kentucky permanent pension fund
  • 2.5% to the problem gambling assistance account

HB 551 established a new excise tax on retail sports betting of 9.75% and 14.25% on online bets. The bill doesn’t allow promotional credit deductions by operators.

Legal sports betting will be allowed for 18+

Kentucky will allow legal sports betting starting at the age of 18, which has been criticized by many as well as the Ohio Casino Control Commission and its Executive Director, Matt Schuler.

He said: “I absolutely hate the idea that individuals under 21 can go across the border, open an account, and bet. I think it’s horrible.”

“The age group that is most at risk of developing a gambling problem are males 18 to 35. The younger ones are most vulnerable as they’re not at the age yet where they can thoroughly process the consequences of their actions. Not my opinion. Scientific fact.”

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Katarina Vojvodic

Katarina Vojvodic is a lead writer for PlayUSA who lives in Toronto. Vojvodic provides coverage of the US gambling industry with a focus on US online casinos. Previously, she covered Ontario’s online gambling industry for Vojvodic holds a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Belgrade. Outside working hours, she can be found near the water with her husband and their two kids.

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