Kentucky is a state that legalized sports betting earlier this year, and now more information has come out about the launch of the industry. The entire Midwest portion of the United States has legalized sports betting outside of Missouri, and most of those states have put up some big numbers.
Retail sports betting is going to launch in the state of Kentucky on September 7, and that’s the first day of the 2023 NFL season as well. Online sports betting won’t be available until later on in the month, and that is how most bettors are expected to wager.
Kentucky is not expected to become a major sports betting market, but it’s a good thing for sports fans that betting is now available. There could always be some issues that pop up over the next few weeks that delay the launch, but Kentucky could become one of the fastest states to go from legalization to launch.
Plenty of Potential Options
Kentucky is known for its horse racing industry, and the racetracks in the state play a huge role in the overall finances. Those horse racing tracks are going to have a huge role in the new sports betting industry, and retail wagering will only be available at those nine locations.
Churchill Downs is the most popular race track in the state, but these racetracks are scattered throughout the state. That will provide sports bettors in Kentucky with plenty of options and it won’t require a ton of travel.
Not only with these horse racing tracks be able to offer retail sports betting, but they will also play a huge role in online sports wagering as well. Each racetrack will be able to partner with up to three online sports betting operators in order to offer online sports wagering to customers.
When the online launch happens in late September, you aren’t going to see that many options available though, as only the biggest companies are expected to enter the state. There will still be some great options available at launch, and Kentucky is going to feature the biggest names.
Some Unique Rules in Kentucky
The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission also just released the emergency and initial sports betting regulations that are going to govern the industry. Since this launch is happening pretty quickly after the legalization, the KHRC was forced to come up with regulations just to get things going.
Kentucky is going to allow bets to be placed by anyone that is at least 18 years of age, and that is different from the standard 21 years of age in most states. Lawmakers in Kentucky also wanted to create a ton of betting opportunities, and they made sure to legalize betting on college sporting events as well.
The sports betting regulations do prevent sports betting operators from targeting individuals that are not least 18 years of age, and problem gambling is also a major focus. You should expect to see stricter rules when the official rules are posted in 2024.