Kentucky Sports Betting Regulations Now Published

Kentucky Sports Betting Regulations Now Published
Fact Checked by Nate Hamilton

The regulations the state will use to oversee Kentucky sports betting are now online, one day after the state’s Horse Racing Commission approved emergency rules to allow sportsbooks to start accepting wagers starting Sept. 7.

The emergency rules are in effect and posted on the KHRC website. In addition, the commission also released the permanent rules that are expected to take effect by April 5, barring the need for an extension to the temporary rules.

State officials have been crafting the regulations since shortly after Gov. Andy Beshear signed House Bill 551 into law legalizing sports betting in the state in late March. However, The KHRC could not officially enact the rules until the law took effect late last month.

The state’s nine horse racing tracks will be able to pursue licensure and host retail sportsbooks at their facilities, including satellite historical horse racing parlors. The tracks also will be able to partner with up to three online operators each.

Brick-and-mortar sportsbooks can open across the state as soon as Sept. 7, and online operators will be able to launch as soon as Sept. 28.

The state will hold a hearing in Lexington on Aug. 22 on the temporary rules and accept public comment through Aug. 31 on them. A hearing on the permanent rules is set for Sept. 22 in Lexington, with comments accepted through Sept. 30.

Temporary Sports Betting Licenses to be Issued in Kentucky

As expected, the regs allow the KHRC to issue temporary licenses to applicants after the initial paperwork has been filed. The temp permits are set to expire at the end of the calendar year they were issued, although they can be extended for up to one year after they were issued.

According to the rules, commission officials may choose to turn a temporary license into an annual license based on three factors: background investigations have been completed, the commission is “satisfied” that applicant is suitable and the applicant provides gaming services in at least three other U.S. jurisdictions.

Under the regulations, “generally approved” markets for sports betting include events sanctioned by a governing body approved by the KHRC based on statistical results from the performance of one or more players on the field of play. Licensed operators may also petition for additional events and markets to be approved.

KHRC may also approve eSports for betting provided the commission receives “complete information” about the game used for the event. That includes if the event operator has been approved to host events by the game’s developer and if the operator meets the state’s game integrity requirements.

The rules also prohibit sports betting licensees from offering “any false or misleading” statements in their advertising and marketing practices.

“For purposes of this subsection, an advertisement shall be misleading if the advertisement makes representations about average winnings without equally prominently representing the average net winnings of all patrons,” the rules state.

Kentucky sportsbooks may advertise on college campuses, according to the state’s rules. Kentucky is one of the few states that allow 18-year-olds to bet on sporting events.

Application Process Now Begins

With the rules now officially published, the application window is now open for Kentucky’s tracks and their partners.

No official announcements were made Tuesday, and some operators told BetKentucky that announcements may not come until sometime next week.

The only official announcement has come from Caesars Entertainment, which will partner with Keeneland and Red Mile in Lexington. FanDuel will also partner with Churchill Downs, although the exact details have yet to be announced.

Stay with BetKentucky in the following weeks as we share key details about Kentucky sports betting and what operators will be coming to the Bluegrass State. We will have all the best Kentucky sportsbook promo codes for you the minute they become available. 



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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