Kentucky: Seven retail and seven mobile sports betting operators apply for licenses

With Kentucky set to launch retail sports betting at racetrack-related locations on September 7, and mobile betting on September 28, a total of seven racetracks have submitted applications across the state. Additionally, seven mobile service providers have also applied for licenses with the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC). 

The countdown is on. Kentuckians can plan to place their first sports wagers, at a retail location, in just 28 days,” said Governor Andy Beshear on Thursday.

Bringing sports wagering to the state not only gives Kentuckians a much-anticipated new form of entertainment but also brings money to the state to support pensions, freeing up money that can be used to build a better Kentucky through the funding of education, economic development, disaster recovery and other necessary projects, like providing cleaner water, building roads and high-speed internet,” he added.

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According to the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, the seven state-licensed racetracks that have applied so far include Churchill Downs, Cumberland Run, Ellis Park, Oak Grove Gaming and Racing, The Red Mile, Sandy’s Gaming and Racing, and Turfway Park.

Meanwhile, the online/mobile sports betting platforms that have applied for a license to operate in Kentucky are Bet365, BetMGM, Caesars, Circa, DraftKings, FanDuel, and Penn Sports Interactive.

The KHRC has stressed that the submission of licensing applications does not guarantee immediate licensure. The Commission will review all applications and final decisions will be put to a vote at a full commission meeting scheduled for August 22. 

Jonathan Rabinowitz, KHRC Chairman, commented: “The KHRC is excited to open sports wagering and is working efficiently to meet the necessary deadlines. This is a careful process dedicated to wagering integrity and protecting bettors in the state of Kentucky.”

Current sports betting partnerships

Earlier this week, BetMGM announced a strategic access agreement inked with Revolutionary Racing Kentucky (RRKY). 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. 

In MayCaesars Sportsbook announced a partnership with historic racetracks Keeneland and Red Mile. The firm intends to offer both in-person and mobile sports gambling to those 21 and older in the Bluegrass State.

The agreements with Keeneland and Red Mile Gaming & Racing in Lexington grant the operator market access to offer legalized mobile wagering and include plans to open Central Kentucky’s only brick-and-mortar retail locations.

In April, Churchill Downs CEO Bill Carstanjen said the racetrack would be partnering with FanDuel Kentucky for its sports betting product, as reported by WDRB. However, no confirmation of the deal was provided by FanDuel until late June. 

Last but not least, Jason Robins DraftKings CEO and Co-Founder said during the company’s Q2 2023 earning report that the operator has secured Kentucky access and will launch online sports betting on September 28. However, he did not provide any other details on a partnership with a track.