Seven mobile sports betting platforms seek Kentucky licenses


Kentucky Regulators Reviewing Applications for Online and In-Person Sportsbooks

Posted on: August 10, 2023, 03:29h. 

Last updated on: August 10, 2023, 03:29h.

Kentucky regulators are currently reviewing applications from seven online sportsbook operators as well as applications for in-person wagering from the state’s seven horse racetracks.

A Welcome to Kentucky sign greets travelers heading southbound on the Daniel Carter Beard Bridge, which connects Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. Kentucky welcomed applications for mobile and in-person sportsbooks ahead of sports betting starting next month. (Image: Google Maps)

The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission will make their decision on the license applications later this month, ensuring that residents will be able to bet in person before the start of the NFL season.

Officials have announced the list of applicants who submitted their applications and expressed their support for the rapidly growing sports betting industry.

“The countdown is on. Kentuckians can plan to place their first sports wagers, at a retail location, in just 28 days,” Gov. Andy Beshear (D) said in a news release. “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.”

Horse Tracks Submit Applications for Retail Licenses 

Every licensed racetrack in Kentucky, including Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ellis Park in Henderson, Oak Grove Gaming and Racing in  Oak Grove, The Red Mile in Lexington, and Turfway Park in Florence, have filed applications for brick-and-mortar sports betting. Additionally, two upcoming racetracks, Cumberland Run in Corbin and Sandy’s Gaming and Racing in Ashland, have also submitted their applications.

A total of seven companies, including Bet365, BetMGM, Caesars, Circa, DraftKings, FanDuel, and Penn Sports Interactive, have applied for mobile sports wagering licenses.

If approved, the racetracks will be authorized to accept sports bets at both their main and satellite locations.

BetMGM recently announced its partnership with Sandy’s Gaming and Racing for a retail location. Their plan is to open a 5,200 square-foot retail BetMGM Sportsbook this fall.

Aug. 22 Meeting

The commissioners will vote on the license applications during their meeting on Aug. 22.

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

In-person sports betting will be available on Sept. 7, coinciding with the first day of the NFL regular season. Online wagers will be available by Sept. 28.

Officials have estimated that sports wagering will generate approximately $23 million in annual revenue for Kentucky, with 2.5% of that going towards a newly created problem gambling fund.

Mobile sportsbooks will be taxed at a rate of 14.25%, while in-person wagers will be subject to a 9.75% tax. Additionally, sportsbook licensees are required to pay a $500,000 upfront fee.

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