Domestic sports betting is coming to Kentucky on September 7th, 2023, the same day that the 2023-24 NFL season begins. Yesterday, the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission approved regulations allowing in-person sportsbooks to accept wagers on the same day as the first Thursday Night Football game of the year.
Online and mobile sportsbooks in Kentucky will not be available until September 28th. KY gambling venues are expecting a surge of players interested in NFL betting on the first day of business, and the Commission is hopeful that any wrinkles presented can be ironed out by the time web-based options debut.
Because the state already has operating racebooks in place, the overall transition and launch are expected to run smoothly.
Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear signed off on the new regulations almost as soon as they were passed, enthusiastically sharing the news via his Twitter account.
Today we made history! Kentuckians will be able to bet on sports in less than 60 days for the first time ever, just in time for the NFL kick-off and college football. This will bring more dollars to our state to help us build a better Kentucky for all our people! pic.twitter.com/f8OOrsm2Z5
— Governor Andy Beshear (@GovAndyBeshear) July 10, 2023
Kentucky sports betting will also allow for gambling on the teams of local colleges and universities. Some states have enacted regulations that forbid betting on games involving state-based teams, mostly for fear of fixing games.
This means that retail sportsbooks will open in time to take action on the Kentucky Wildcats’ second game against Eastery KY and the Louisville Cardinals’ second contest against Murray State.
What pushed HB 551 past the finish line was its potential to garner $23 million annually in sports betting-related tax collections. KY has several poverty-stricken areas where these dollars can go to good use.
Unfortunately, there is also the potential for low-income families to succumb to problem gaming. This is a double-edged sword that lawmakers often wrestle with when considering sports betting bills.
With the repeal of PASPA by the US Supreme Court in 2018, domestic sports betting has spread like wildfire across the country. State-regulated sports betting has become the norm. Thus, the impact on poorer citizens has become an accepted risk.
Where Can I Bet On Sports In KY On September 7th?
Starting today, the Commission will begin accepting applications from existing racebooks. Every racebook in the state is expected to apply.
The initial licensing fee is $500,000, with annual renewals set at $50,000. On September 7th, gamblers in Kentucky can reasonably expect to place an in-person wager at the racino nearest them.
These local books will be run by gaming institutions like DraftKings, BetMGM, and others. FanDuel has already announced intentions of setting up shop at Churchill Downs, the site of the Kentucky Derby.
Once online and mobile sports betting gets started on September 28th, there’ll no longer be any need for local gamblers to leave the house just to place a wager on pro or college sports.
Gamblers in KY can wager on sports online right now using offshore sportsbook sites like the ones we recommend here. There are no laws at the federal or state level that forbid joining an overseas sportsbook site and placing a bet in Kentucky.