DraftKings Plans September Launch For Kentucky Sports Betting

DraftKings Plans September Launch For Kentucky Sports Betting
Fact Checked by Nate Hamilton

Kentucky DraftKings Sportsbook is coming!

The Boston-based online gaming company announced as part of Thursday’s 2023 second-quarter financial report that it plans to launch an online sports betting app in the Bluegrass State, pending regulatory approvals.

“We are very excited that Kentucky Horse Racing Commission recently set a target launch date of Sept. 28, 2023, for online sports betting, which is sooner than we previously anticipated,” CFO Jason Park said during the company’s earnings call Friday morning.

DraftKings executives expect to generate $20 million in revenue from Kentucky through the rest of the 2023 fiscal year. However, that would come with an expected loss of $30 million.

Not A Surprise

DraftKings’ announcement was expected since the Kentucky General Assembly passed HB 551, the sports betting bill, and Gov. Andy Beshear signed it into law in late March. It is part of the Sports Betting Alliance, the industry trade group that lobbied for Kentucky sports betting legalization in the state.

With Kentucky surrounded by states that previously legalized sports betting, DraftKings likely has a base of customers who registered in other states. Those individuals will no longer have to cross state lines to make their wagers come late September.

Even with that, DraftKings among other Kentucky sports betting apps, would likely attract scores of new users, including those who play fantasy contests at DraftKings.

Questions Remain

With DraftKings’ Kentucky announcement, there still remain a couple of questions. One is who its partner will be. The company has been rumored to be partners with Churchill Downs and Kentucky Downs. DraftKings has a prior relationship with Churchill Downs through DK Horse, an online horse racing wagering site powered by Churchill’s TwinSpires platform.

Churchill Downs has already announced a partnership with FanDuel and plans to announce other partnerships later this month. Red Mile and Keeneland announced their deal with Caesars Sportsbook in May.

Under HB 551, each track can partner with up to three online operators. That means Kentucky can have as many as 27 licensed operators, although the number is likely to be far fewer than that.

BetMGM and Fanatics are also expected to launch in Kentucky, while Circa Sports and WynnBET have also contacted state officials.

The other question is whether DraftKings will allow individuals as young as 18 to register for accounts. HB 551 set the age limit for Kentucky sports betting at 18 to align with the state’s limit on other forms of gaming. DraftKings does allow 18-year-olds to bet in other sports betting states with that age limit, including New Hampshire, where it’s the lone operator, and Wyoming, where it’s one of four licensed providers and the only one to accept younger bettors.

A message to a DraftKings spokesperson was not immediately returned Friday morning. 

Visit BetKentucky regularly for the latest Kentucky sports betting news and the soon-to-be-released Kentucky sportsbook promo codes.



Steve Bittenbender

Steve is an accomplished, award-winning reporter with more than 20 years of experience covering gaming, sports, politics and business. He has written for the Associated Press, Reuters, The Louisville Courier Journal, The Center Square and numerous other publications. Based in Louisville, Ky., Steve has covered the expansion of sports betting in the U.S. and other gaming matters.

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