Kentucky is all set to introduce sports betting to its residents, with a unique pre-registration phase before the actual betting activities commence. Governor Andy Beshear has announced that starting this month, individuals in the state can pre-register for online sportsbook accounts, in anticipation of the official betting launch scheduled for September.
Choosing from the best online sportsbooks
Seven prominent online sportsbooks, including industry giants like Bet365, BetMGM, Caesars, Circa, DraftKings, FanDuel, and Penn Sports Interactive, have submitted their license applications to operate in Kentucky. The state law permits up to 27 online licenses, with each of the nine horse racetracks being eligible to obtain three licenses.
Moreover, seven racetracks have sought authorization to establish brick-and-mortar sportsbooks. These racetracks include well-known venues such as Churchill Downs, Ellis Park, Oak Grove Gaming and Racing, The Red Mile, Turfway Park, Cumberland Run, and Sandy’s Gaming and Racing.
On August 22, the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) will make its decisions regarding the approval of these operators. Once the approvals are granted, the pre-registration for online sportsbooks will be available to the public by August 28. The official launch of in-person betting is marked for September 7, coinciding with the commencement of the NFL season. Mobile applications for deposits will also become operational on the same day.
Sports betting opens on September 28 in Kentucky
While deposits will be accepted starting September 7, the actual online sports betting experience will commence from September 28. Kentucky is adopting a phased approach to the implementation of its sports betting law. Initially, the focus is on allowing in-person betting facilities to operate before launching mobile applications. This ensures that all policies and procedures are meticulously tested and refined before the full launch.
KHRC Chairman Jonathan Rabinowitz emphasized the commission’s commitment to maintaining the integrity of sports wagering and safeguarding the interests of bettors throughout this meticulous implementation process.
Kentucky has high expectations for the financial benefits of sports betting. The state anticipates an annual tax revenue of approximately $23 million once the law is in full swing. Online sportsbooks will be subject to a tax rate of 14.25%, while brick-and-mortar establishments will be taxed at a rate of 9.75%. Additionally, a percentage of the proceeds, specifically 2.5%, will be allocated to a newly established fund dedicated to addressing problem gambling concerns.
The introduction of sports betting in Kentucky represents a significant step forward for the state, as it enters the realm of regulated sports gambling. This move aligns with the evolving landscape of sports betting across various states in the U.S., where more regions are embracing the potential economic benefits and entertainment value associated with legal sports wagering activities.
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