The Kentucky lawmakers awarded sports betting licenses for horse tracks and online operators ahead of the legal sports wagering launch in the Bluegrass State scheduled for September 2023.
The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission reportedly made the decision on August 22, 2023 allowing gamblers to opt for several eligible venues to place in-person bets on sports events starting from September 7. Likewise, the said authority reportedly designated the mobile applications allowed to collect wagers from September 28 under the licenses now approved.
Licenses Approved in Time:
As reported by Associated Press (AP), the state commission’s license approval comes after months of expectation to have the wagering on sports events legalized in the state. The push to launch the sports betting operations has been reportedly growing ever since the sports betting measure was passed by Kentucky legislators in March 2023.Kentucky
Gov. Andy Beshear, who reportedly supports legal sports wagering for bringing money into pension funds in Kentucky, praised the decision of the regulatory body for “getting this done right and getting it done in time for the opening of the NFL season,” according to AP.
Licensed Land-Based Operators :
The same source reports that the horse race tracks and their associated facilities approved to open retail sports books are as follows: Churchill Downs, Louisville; Derby City Gaming, Louisville; Ellis Park, Henderson; the Mint Gaming Hall Cumberland Run, Corbin; the Mint Gaming Hall Cumberland, Williamsburg; Newport Racing and Gaming, Newport; Oak Grove Gaming and Racing, Oak Grove; The Red Mile, Lexington; and Turfway Park, Florence.
As reported, the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission also approved the sports wagering licenses for Derby Gaming, Ellis Park, and Sandy’s Gaming and Racing. These operators’ facilities are reportedly coming soon to, respectively, downtown Louisville, Owensboro, and Ashland to be in time for the September 7 launch of in-person betting in the state.
Licenses Mobile Operators:
As AP reports, the mobile sports betting operators were awarded temporary licenses with an option to convert these into annual licenses at a later time. According to the source, the operators allowed to run mobile sports wagering applications are the following: Bet365; BetMGM; Caesars; Circa Sports; DraftKings; Fanatics; FanDuel; and Penn Sports Interactive.
The same source indicates that the commission approved Kambi as a service provider for retail operations only meaning that this operator will not have a mobile application licensed for sports wagering. Online wagering will kick-off on September 28, but the customers can reportedly pre-register their accounts with the licensed mobile applications already from August 28.
According to Associated Press, the state expects that sports wagering operations will generate around $23 million per year in tax revenues. Kentucky will reportedly funnel the funds to a permanent pension fund rather than use it for gaming-related programs.