What We Know About The Possible Kentucky Sports Betting Launch Date

What We Know About The Possible Kentucky Sports Betting Launch Date
Fact Checked by Nate Hamilton

The state of Kentucky will join the 37 states and the District of Columbia that have legalized sports betting at some point soon. That's right, Kentucky sports betting is coming!

When exactly the Bluegrass State will join their brethren in the U.S. remains to be seen, as HB-551, which legalized wagering at the state’s race tracks and online, passed through the legislature on March 30 and was signed into law by Gov. Andy Beshear the following day.  

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Kentucky Horse Racing Commission Confident To Meet Deadline

A representative from the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, which is tasked with overseeing the rollout of sports betting in the state, declined to comment on an exact launch timeline.  

They did send BetKentucky.com a statement saying the commission is confident they’ll be able to get all the rules and regulations pertaining to sports wagering hammered out by the deadline set forth by HB-551.  

“House Bill 551 gives the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) six months from the effective date, on or about June 28, 2023, to complete the required regulatory framework,” the commission’s statement reads. “The KHRC is dedicated to fulfilling its responsibilities in a timely manner while ensuring a successful implementation of sports wagering in Kentucky."

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What We Can Learn From Other States About Kentucky’s Launch Date

Of the last four states to launch sports betting — from Kansas last September to Maryland in November, Ohio on Jan. 1 and Massachusetts on March 10 — each has taken a vastly different amount of time to get online.  

The shortest waiting time from bill signage to the opening day of wagering was Kansas, which took 112 days from Gov. Laura Kelly’s bill signing ceremony on May 12, 2022 to the state’s “soft launch” on Sept. 1 of that year.  

Conversely, Maryland took roughly two years to come online, from the time that the state’s voters approved wagering via a ballot measure in 2020 to the state’s opening day on Nov. 23, 2022.  

Massachusetts and Ohio were in the middle between those two locales, timing-wise, with the former taking 212 days to come online, while the Buckeye State took 375 days from Gov. Mike DeWine’s signature on Dec. 22, 2021, to Jan. 1, 2023 launch date.  

Massachusetts’ sports betting bill was signed into law by then-Gov. Charlie Baker on Aug. 10, 2022, and launched on March 10 of this year, giving the Bay State the second-fastest rollout of sports betting of the four most recent states to come online.  

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Modeling Opening Dates For Kentucky Sports Betting

If Kentucky were to follow the same launch timeline as Kansas, then the state would go live for sports betting on July 21.  

Meanwhile, if the Bluegrass State takes the same amount time of time to go live as Massachusetts, it would go live on Oct. 29 of this year.  

A 375-day waiting period for Kentucky sports betting like the one experienced by the state’s northern neighbor would mean an April 9, 2024 launch date for sports betting in the state.  

One way or another, sports betting in the Bluegrass State will go live at some point in the near-distant future, which is more than Kentuckians could hope for in years past.  

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Christopher Boan is a staff writer for BetKentucky.com. He has covered sports and sports betting for more than seven years and has worked for publications such as ArizonaSports.com, the Tucson Weekly and the Green Valley News.

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