Quick Takes

Kentuckians pre-register for online sports betting with approved apps

By: - August 28, 2023 1:33 pm

The betting line and some of the nearly 400 proposition bets for Super Bowl 50 between the Carolina Panthers and the Denver Broncos are displayed at the Race & Sports SuperBook at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino on Feb. 2, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Kentuckians began pre-registering for online sports wagering apps Monday as part of the state’s timeline for implementing online sports betting. 

Approved mobile apps could start pre-registering accounts as early as 6 a.m. The apps can begin taking wagers on Thursday, Sept. 28. In-person sports betting begins in the state next week. 

Earlier this year, the General Assembly passed House Bill 551, which legalized sports betting in Kentucky. Gov. Andy Beshear signed the measure into law. 

Last week, the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission approved temporary sports wagering licenses for the state’s horse racing tracks and their satellites, as well as service providers, including DraftKings and Bet365. Eight of the nine service providers approved for temporary licenses will have mobile app operations in Kentucky. 

Three operator licenses were approved for facilities that have yet to open but will soon. They were Derby City Gaming in Louisville, Ellis Park in Owensboro and Sandy’s Gaming and Racing in Ashland. 

On Thursday, Sept. 7, bettors can place an in-person bet at licensed retail facilities and begin depositing money into their pre-registered mobile accounts with approved mobile app. 

In a recent news conference, Beshear said he signed regulations last month to open sports betting ahead of the NFL and college football seasons. He plans to make the first sports wager at Churchill Downs.

“By finally passing sports betting, we’re giving people what they want. They can spend their entertainment dollars here instead of going to other states,” Beshear said. “And we expect to see at least $23 million in state revenue that we can put towards education, that we can continue to invest in infrastructure, that we can use to expand healthcare — real money to help our people.”

After the legislation was enacted, Kentucky became the 37th state to legalize sports betting. In 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a federal ban that had excluded most states from legalizing such gambling.

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McKenna Horsley
McKenna Horsley

McKenna Horsley covers state politics for the Kentucky Lantern. She previously worked for newspapers in Huntington, West Virginia, and Frankfort, Kentucky. She is from northeastern Kentucky.