Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear has provided another update on Kentucky’s sports betting timeline, with just three weeks until retail locations can begin taking wagers.

Beshear confirmed that sports betting will officially start at 10am EDT on Thursday 7 September at retail facilities. Prior to that, pre registrations can open for approved mobile sports betting applications at 6am EDT on Monday 28 August.

The full sports betting timeline for Kentucky is as follows:

  • Tuesday 22 August: The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission will meet to vote on license applications. The vote will determine which retail facilities and mobile applications will be granted a license in the state.
  • Monday 28 August: Kentucky residents and prospective bettors will be able to sign-up to their desired mobile operators. The timeline emphasizes it can reduce the strain on sites to have a staggered pre-registration approach.
  • Thursday 7 September: Retail locations with a Kentucky license can begin accepting in-person wagers.
  • Thursday 7 September: Kentuckians that have pre registered with an approved mobile operator will be able to deposit money into accounts.
  • Thursday 28 September: Mobile applications can begin to take wagers.

Beshear commented in a release: “The countdown is on. We are just three weeks away from sports wagering in Kentucky. We are ready to deliver the quality entertainment experience Kentuckians asked for, while bringing money to the state to support pensions and free up funds that can be used to build a better Kentucky.”

The staggered approach used by Beshear and the Kentucky Horse RAcing Commission has been used in several other state rollouts. Most recently, Massachusetts online sports betting launched after retail sports betting so the regulator could ensure the rigor of policies and procedures before mass adoption.

Jonathan Rabinowitz, Chairman of the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission stated: “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.”

Legal sports betting in Kentucky was signed into law after Gov. Beshear signed bipartisan legislation HB 551 into law back on 31 March, 2023.

Fiscal studies estimate legal sports betting will generate $23 million a year upon full implementation which will be dedicated to the Kentucky permanent pension fund, and 2.5% to the problem gambling assistance account. Revenue will be taxed at 9.75% for retail operators, and 14.25% for mobile operators.

Kentucky’s gambling landscape is a little unusual, with no form of commercial casinos or gaming. Instead, its racetracks offer game of chance historic betting terminals which can arguably be compared to slot machines. Currently only online advanced deposit wagering is available in KY, so online sports betting is a significant move. As of yet, Kentucky online casino does not seem to be on the KHRC’s radar.