Kentucky sports betting has edged ever-closer to launch, with mobile pre-registrations officially going live to Kentuckians on 28 August, 2023.

Governor Andy Beshear and Kentucky Horse Racing Commission Chairman Jonathan Rabinowitz last week announced the KHRC’s initial licensing decisions for both online and retail locations. Eight operators have received temporary Kentucky mobile sports betting licenses, and thus started taking pre-registrations.

Here are the operators, and their respective partnering track (a pre-requisite for a KE sports betting application):

  • Caesars (The Red Mile)
  • Fanatics (Oak Grove)
  • Fanduel (Turfway Park, and its satellite location, Newport Racing and Gaming)
  • DraftKings (Cumberland Run and its satellite location)
  • Penn Sports Interactive (Ellis Park Henderson and Owensboro)
  • BetMGM (Sandy’s Gaming and Racing)
  • Circa Sports (Cumberland Run and its satellite location)
  • bet365 (Sandy’s Gaming and Racing)

Of the aforementioned, only Caesars, DraftKings and BetMGM will also have a retail presence. Legalized retail sports betting is little over than a week away in the Bluegrass State, launching on Thursday Sept 7, 2023. Also on 7 September, mobile users will be able to deposit into any approved pre-registered accounts. Mobile sportsbooks will not start taking wagers until Thursday September 28, however.

Kentucky sports betting rules and regulations dictate that users need only be 18 or over to wager on sports. This is a rarity, but it joins the likes of Montana, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Virginia and Wyoming in lowering the typical age barrier of 21.

Fanduel and Caesars, two of the three that will also operate a retail sportsbook have both announced that online operations will also be 21+. DraftKings, however, will launch online for 18+ Kentuckians. So too will UK-headquartered bet365.

Entrance into Kentucky marks bet365’s sixth US state entrance. The company is also live with sports betting in Colorado, Iowa, Ohio, New Jersey and Virginia.

A spokesperson for bet365 said: “We are thrilled to welcome the great state of Kentucky to bet365. With renowned products like amazing Bet Boosts, the fastest In-Game product and unique Same Game Parlays, we can’t wait to bring the bet365 experience to eligible customers in the Bluegrass State.”

The scrap for online market share is already well underway, with the first KE sports betting promos being unveiled. DraftKings, which also will go live for 18+ bettors, is offering Kentuckians no-deposit required $200 in free bets, with bet365 giving users $10 per touchdown in the first NFL game of the season (capped at $50).

Aggressive promotional spend on state launch is characteristic of the US sports betting market, and Kentucky looks set to be no different.