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Betting.net / Kentucky To Launch Legal Sports Betting This September

Kentucky To Launch Legal Sports Betting This September

Publish Date: July 13, 2023
Fact checked by: David Genge

Kentucky is set to become the latest state to enjoy legal sports betting. Retail sports betting will come to the Bluegrass State as early as September 7, while its online counterpart is set to be up and running on September 28. This means that sports fans in Kentucky will be able to make their sports bets on the first games of the new NFL season. 

Kentucky To Launch Legal Sports Betting This September

The announcement was made by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission and it means that it will be less than two months before anyone over the age of 18 years can enjoy betting on sports in the Bluegrass State.

While there were minor delays in the implementation of some emergency administrative regulations, the motion was agreed on at the Red Mile venue – just one of the physical KY sportsbooks set to go live in September.

The bill for legal sports betting in Kentucky was signed into law in April 2023. Previous attempts to introduce the legislation had failed on multiple occasions, but the bill allows anywhere up to nine of the state’s racetracks to legally offer in-person sports betting.

Each one of these racetracks will also get to organize partnerships with up to three online sportsbooks. As a result, there is the potential for anywhere up to 27 mobile betting operators to be present in the Bluegrass State.

In order to become a licensed operator, a racetrack will have to pay a one-off fee of $500,000 while any prospective online sportsbook will be required to make a payment of $50,000. There will also be the tax rates to consider with online sportsbooks having to pay 14.25% of their betting revenues while such rates will be decreased to 9.75% for the licensed racetracks.

The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission is already well underway in making preparations for the launch of sports betting in the state. There has already been the recruitment of extra staff to fill key positions ranging from management to compliance, and the next step is to decide which one of the prospective sportsbooks will get the all-important licensing.

Kentucky is almost surrounded by states who have already legalized sports betting and, given the state’s horse racing heritage, it is curious that it has taken so long to push through the required legislation.

Outside of the Churchill Downs racetrack, there is currently no major gambling company with a foothold in the Bluegrass State. As such, there remain big questions about which online sportsbooks could be the first to move in.

Expectations are that market-leaders such as FanDuel and DraftKings are among the most likely candidates. This is because both have the required capital and they also have a good presence in the state due to their DFS operations. Elsewhere, both BetMGM and Caesars are also likely to announce their plans to launch in Kentucky in the coming months. All of this should be enough to give Kentucky sports betting a great send-off.

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