Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear has joined the state Horse Racing Commission and lawmakers in announcing that Kentuckians can place their first sports bets starting this fall.
The announcement followed the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission meeting, in which members unanimously approved emergency administrative regulations for sports betting.
The governor then signed the bylaws at the Red Mile, a racing and gambling venue eligible to apply to be a sports betting venue.
The retail outlets will open on September 7, 2023, just in time for the NFL kickoff, tailgating, and college football season, followed by mobile apps on Sept. 28.
“This is a historic day for our Commonwealth as sports betting will open in Kentucky for the first time in less than 60 days,” Governor Beshear said. “Bringing sports betting to the state not only gives Kentuckians a long-awaited new form of entertainment, it also brings money to the state to support pensions, freeing up money that can be used to build a better Kentucky through funding education, economic development, disaster recovery, and other necessary projects, such as cleaner water supply, road construction, and high-speed Internet.”
After years of lobbying to pass sports betting, on March 31, 2023, Governor Beshear signed bipartisan legislation into law Bill 551, which legalized sports betting in Kentucky.
“We have worked hard to provide sports betting for Kentuckians with regulations designed to protect punters,” said Cabinet Secretary for Public Protection Ray Perry. “Kentucky residents can rest assured that their bets are safe, their money is protected, and that there is effective oversight and enforcement if the law is broken.”
“The conversations we’ve had with regulators and industry experts have laid the groundwork for these clear and accountable regulations,” said Jonathan Rabinowitz, president of the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission. “The commission has a long history of pari-mutuel betting integrity and is uniquely positioned to protect Kentucky punters.”
In May, the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission announced it was hiring additional staff to prepare for the launch of sports betting. The commission is filling 14 new positions.
Beginning Tuesday, July 11, licensed horse racing facilities in Kentucky may require a retail bookmaker at their major or licensed satellite locations. The state expects each facility to open a retail location, and many will be ready to launch on September 7.
Each licensed establishment will also be able to partner with up to three mobile betting marketing platforms, which will launch on 28 September.