Kentucky Sports Betting Regulations on Fast Track

Posted on: June 22, 2023, 11:17h. 

Last updated on: June 22, 2023, 01:33h.

Sports betting in Kentucky is likely to launch in the coming weeks. The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission has called a special meeting for early July to review and likely approve the state’s sports betting rules and regulations, according to KHRC Chairman Jonathan Rabinowitz.

Onlookers watch the board during a horse race, above. A new sports betting law goes into effect in Kentucky next month. That law allows retail and online sports betting and sportsbooks to operate at the Kentucky Speedway and the nine horse tracks in the state. (Image: Getty)

The sports betting law goes into effect on July 1 in the Bluegrass State, and even though the law allows six months to establish regulations and licensing processes, it appears the commission intends to get it done this summer.

We will continue to provide updates on the progress as available, but needless to say, this is an exciting time in the commonwealth,” Rabinowitz said.

The July meeting is a big step for state regulators and the goal of kicking off brick-and-mortar sports betting by the start of the NFL season. Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear confirmed the timeline.

“I will tell you this is a very ambitious goal to get this launched by the NFL season,” Beshear told reporters at a press conference.

Once the commission completes the regulations, the state’s nine racetracks can begin applying for sports betting licenses.

How Sports Betting Works in Kentucky

The Bluegrass state laid the groundwork for entering the sports wagering marketplace when Gov. Beshear signed House Bill 551 into law on March 31.

The law allows retail and online sports betting, and sportsbooks can operate at the Kentucky Speedway and the nine horse tracks in the state. Three online operators can partner with those locations, adding up to 27 betting apps in the state’s digital space.

The law sets a max bet of $5000 and a max daily loss limit of $10K. Sports betting revenue will be taxed at 15%. The law sets the minimum age to place sports bets at 18 years, and bettors must be physically located within the state to wager.

Of the 37 states that legalized sports betting so far, Kentucky is among five that allow 18-year-olds to bet, according to the American Gaming Association.

Partnerships Taking Shape Ahead of Approved Regulations

Rabinowitz says the commission’s website will publish initial drafts of proposed regulations. He added that KHRC representatives met with regulators from Massachusetts, Indiana, New Jersey, Ohio, and Colorado, as well as from Major League Baseball, to help craft rules.

Partnerships between app-based platforms, including DraftKings, BetMGM, and FanDuel, are in the works, including with Churchhill Downs.

Keeneland, The Red Mile in Lexington, and Ceasars Sportsbook announced a partnership in May.