With the eagerly anticipated launch of Kentucky's regulated sports betting market on the horizon, players within the state are now offered the opportunity to pre-register for online sports wagering starting from August 28. This initiative, part of Governor Andy Beshear's approved timetable, allows enthusiasts to sign up a month ahead of the official online market opening.
Pre-Registration for Online Sports Wagering in Kentucky Now Open
Governor Beshear's strategic approach ensures that retail betting will go live on September 7, while the online platform is set to launch on September 28. This forward-looking move to facilitate pre-registration aims to not only offer players early access but also provide a seamless transition to the digital betting landscape.
Countdown to Kentucky Sports Wagering: Pre-Registration Begins
Governor Beshear expressed enthusiasm for the forthcoming launch, noting that the state's commitment to delivering a high-quality entertainment experience for its citizens is combined with the intent to generate revenue for crucial state programs, including pension funds and community development.
The pre-registration initiative comes at a time when the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) is meeting to deliberate on licence applications. Renowned industry names such as Bet365, FanDuel, BetMGM, Caesars, Circa, DraftKings, and Penn Sports have submitted their applications, reflecting the industry's eagerness to establish a strong presence in the state's emerging sports betting landscape.
Seven licensed sportsbooks have also filed for retail licences, signifying a diverse array of operators embracing the opportunity. Notable names include Churchill Downs, Oak Grove Gaming and Racing, Ellis Park, The Red Mile, Turfway Park, Cumberland Run, and Sandy’s Gaming and Racing. Furthermore, racetracks have the option to open retail sports betting facilities at their satellite locations, enhancing accessibility for consumers.
As retail betting commences on September 7, players will also be able to initiate deposits into their online accounts, preparing for the digital platform's launch a few weeks later. The KHRC chairman, Jonathan Rabinowitz, emphasized the commission's dedication to upholding wagering integrity and ensuring a protected environment for bettors.
Governor Beshear's approval of House Bill 551 in April laid the foundation for mobile betting in Kentucky. The bill enables nine Kentucky racetracks to offer on-site retail betting, each forming partnerships with up to three online operators, resulting in a potential total of 27 licences available. The tax structure distinguishes between online and retail operations, with the online tax rate set at 14.25% of gross gambling revenue, while retail operations are taxed at 9.75%. Notably, a racetrack is required to pay $500,000 for a licence, while an online operator's partnership incurs a $50,000 fee.
Kentucky's Sports Wagering Journey: Pre-Registration Signals Countdown to Launch
The pre-registration opening represents a pivotal step in Kentucky's journey toward a fully-fledged and regulated sports betting environment. As players eagerly await the online market's debut, the strategic efforts of the state government, KHRC, and industry operators collectively pave the way for an exciting era of responsible sports wagering in the Bluegrass State.