iGaming and sports betting operator BetMGM is set to make its entry into the upcoming regulated Kentucky sports betting market through a strategic access agreement inked with Revolutionary Racing Kentucky (RRKY).
As per the agreement, BetMGM will launch its online and retail sports betting platform in Kentucky when sports betting becomes legal in the state this fall. Sports betting was approved in the Bluegrass State on March 31, 2023, following the signing of the legalization bill by Governor Andy Beshear.
“Kentucky has a rich history in sports and a passionate fan base. Revolutionary Racing is an ideal partner, enabling us to deliver an entertaining and responsible gaming experience while investing in the state through job creation and tax revenue,” said Adam Greenblatt, CEO of BetMGM.
BetMGM will begin to offer online sports betting as soon as the regulated market is operational, subject to licensure and regulatory clearance. Furthermore, preparations are in progress for the introduction of a 5,200-square-foot retail BetMGM Sportsbook in collaboration with RRKY at Sandy’s Racing & Gaming, a $75 million gaming and entertainment facility in Ashland.
Subsequent plans involve the construction of Kentucky’s first quarter horse racetrack and equestrian center spanning 182 acres adjacent to Sandy’s, with the inaugural races scheduled for a debut in 2025.
“We promised to bring a world-class facility to Ashland and wanted a world-class partner for online sports wagering across the Commonwealth and at our sportsbook lounge. We’ve got that with BetMGM,” Prentice Salter, CEO of Revolutionary Racing, said.
Gov. Beshear signing sports betting into law
Kentucky retail sports betting will go live on September 7, in time for NFL, followed by online betting on September 28. The go-live date was agreed upon last month by Governor Andy Beshear, the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission and lawmakers in the state.
Under the approved plan, bettors must be 18 or older, and only the state’s nine racetracks are eligible to apply for licenses to operate sports betting, both in-person and on licensed websites and phone apps. Wagers placed at the tracks will have an excise tax of 9.75%, while online bets will have a rate of 14.25%.
Tax revenue from sports betting will fund state employee pensions, and a small amount of money will also be set aside for a fund to help people with gambling addictions. Gov. Beshear said the state anticipates $23 million a year in tax revenue from the vertical, and that the new market will keep sports betting money from going to neighboring states.