Kentucky Wants to Launch Its Sports Betting Market by the Start of the NFL Season

  • Governor Andy Beshear signed off on a sports betting bill on March 31
  • Kentucky sports betting will center around the state’s racetracks
  • The first 2023 NFL game is on Thursday, September 7
Zoomed in pic of Kentucky on a US map
Kentucky has set a target launch date for its sports betting market of the start of the NFL season. [Image:]

Kentucky sports betting targets the NFL

Kentucky sports betting was just legalized on March 31 and now has a target launch date of the start of the 2023 NFL season.

Democratic Governor Andy Beshear wasted no time signing off on the proposition, which received bipartisan support in the state Congress. He has since promised a quick turnaround for retail and online sportsbooks seeking to gain access to the Bluegrass State’s new market.

we want to get it up and going as quickly as we can”

“The people are really excited about this,” Beshear said at a news conference last week. “So, we want to get it up and going as quickly as we can but also to do it right.”

Sports betting in Kentucky will run through the state’s nine horse race tracks. Each facility will have the option to partner with up to three online sports betting partners.

Retail sports wagers will be taxed at 9.75%, which rises to 14.25% for online bets. Rep. Michael Meredith, the chief sponsor of the bill Beshear approved (HB 551), said that Kentucky can expect an extra $23m in funding from sports betting.

The NFL season starts on September 7, meaning that local regulators will have their work cut for them. There is no standard timetable for the initial launch of sports betting markets as some states have taken over a year, while others have only needed a couple of months. 

Kentucky’s race tracks are already familiar with the Horse Racing Commission, which will be an asset during the setup. The commission will meet on April 18, presumably to spend a decent amount of time discussing the new sports betting market.

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