Kentucky Sports Betting Licenses Approved; DraftKings To Accept Wagers From 18+

Kentucky Sports Betting Licenses Approved; DraftKings To Accept Wagers From 18+
Fact Checked by Nate Hamilton

DraftKings is coming to Kentucky, and it appears it will accept Kentucky sports betting wagers from individuals 18 and older.

The Boston-based company was one of seven operators approved for temporary licenses by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission on Tuesday at its meeting in Lexington.

The approvals mark the latest milestone toward launching sports betting in the Bluegrass State next month.

Besides DraftKings Kentucky Sportsbook, the KHRC also approved licenses for Bet365, BetMGM, Caesars Sportsbook, Circa Sports, FanDuel, Penn Entertainment, and Fanatics.

DraftKings To Follow Kentucky Law

House Bill 551, Kentucky’s sports betting bill passed by the General Assembly in March, set the age limit for placing wagers and opening accounts at 18. That’s the same age limit for horse racing and lottery in Kentucky.

However, several operators who previously announced their plans to enter Kentucky said they would only allow those 21 and older to wager. Kentucky’s not the only U.S. jurisdiction to allow 18-year-olds to wager, but the six states surrounding Kentucky set their age limit at 21.

DraftKings has allowed 18-year-olds to wager in New Hampshire and Wyoming, states that also have that age limit. According to a comment from a DraftKings executive that appears to be the case in Kentucky, too.

“DraftKings is committed to following the age restrictions set forth by each individual jurisdiction,” said Griffin Finan, DraftKings senior vice president and deputy general counsel, in a statement to on Tuesday.

Key Dates For Kentucky Sports Betting

After Tuesday’s approvals, the next milestone takes place Monday when approved online operators can start accepting pre-registrations for accounts.

Brick-and-mortar sportsbooks will be able to open Sept. 7. On that same date, people who have pre-registered with online Kentucky sports betting apps will be able to start making deposits into their accounts.

Online sports betting will start in Kentucky on Sept. 28.

Who Is Partnering Up In Kentucky

According to an announcement from both DraftKings and Cumberland Run, the Corbin harness track its partnering with, the sports betting giant will not only offer online wagering statewide, it will also operate retail sportsbooks at Cumberland Run’s track and its Mint Gaming Hall, a historical horse racing satellite in Williamsburg. Both locations are in southeastern Kentucky.

“The Corbin properties are truly excited to work with DraftKings, one of the country’s leading sportsbook operators. This will be a great relationship for both companies,” said Marc Falcone, the co-managing partner along with Ron Winchell for Cumberland Run.

Sandy’s Racing and Gaming, which previously announced its partnership with BetMGM, formally announced its online access deal with bet365 after the KHRC’s vote.

Kentucky will be the sixth state for the British-based operator.

“This is an incredibly exciting time to be a sports fan in Kentucky,” said Prentice Salter, CEO of Revolutionary Racing, which is part of the joint venture with EBCI Holdings for the quarter horse track and HHR parlor under construction in Ashland.

Churchill Downs Incorporated, which owns four tracks in the state, will partner with Fanatics, FanDuel and Penn Interactive Services. Whether Penn decides to launch as Barstool Sportsbook or ESPN BET, which is set to launch in November, remains to be seen.

Churchill Downs also partnered with Kambi, which will be its technology partner for its brick-and-mortar sportsbooks at its tracks and HHR parlors.
Additional sports betting operators may still apply for licenses.

Just two of the state’s nine tracks – Keeneland in Lexington and Kentucky Downs in Franklin – did not seek licenses. KHRC Executive Director Jamie Eads told reporters after the meeting that any new tracks applying now would need to apply by Sept. 1 in order to open in 2024.

Kentucky Downs is expected at some point to apply, although its not certain when that will occur.

Stay with us as the latest Kentucky sportsbook promos will be featured on when they are available.



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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