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US – Sports betting is just three weeks away in Kentucky

By - 18 August 2023

With the opening day of sports betting just three weeks away, Gov. Andy Beshear today provided a timeline of key dates, including that betting will officially start at 10 a.m. on Thursday, September 7, for in-person bets at licensed retail facilities.

The Governor said Kentuckians can pre-register an account with approved mobile applications on August 28. A list of approved retail facilities and mobile applications will be released August 22, following the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) meeting.

“The countdown is on. We are just three weeks away from sports wagering in Kentucky,” said Gov. Beshear. “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.”

On August 22, KHRC will meet to vote on license applications. This vote will determine which retail facilities and mobile applications will be approved for use in Kentucky. Kentuckians can pre-register an account with approved mobile applications on August 28. Allowing pre-registration eases strains on electronic systems that can sometimes happen when many people try to register at once.

Wagerers can place an in-person bet at licensed retail facilities from September 7. On September 28, approved mobile applications can start taking wagers.

Kentucky chose a tiered implementation, which has been used in multiple states and which allows for testing of policies and procedures before the full rollout that includes mobile applications.

“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,” said Kentucky Horse Racing Commission Chairman Jonathan Rabinowitz.

Earlier this month, Gov. Beshear announced the retail locations and mobile applications seeking licensure in Kentucky. In July, the Governor joined the KHRC and lawmakers to announce that Kentuckians could make their first-ever sports bets in Kentucky in less than 60 days. The announcement followed the KHRC meeting where members unanimously approved emergency administrative regulations that will govern sports wagering.

After years of pushing to get sports betting passed, on March 31, 2023, Gov. Beshear signed bipartisan legislation – House Bill 551 – legalising sports wagering in Kentucky. Sports betting will generate an estimated revenue increase of $23m a year upon full implementation that will be dedicated to the Kentucky permanent pension fund and 2.5 per cent to the problem gambling assistance account. The bill also established a new excise tax on sports wagering: 9.75 per cent on the adjusted gross revenues on wagers made at a licensed facility and 14.25 per cent on wagers placed online or on a smart phone.

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