Kentucky sports betting licenses awarded, including Fanatics

August 23, 2023
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Eight mobile operators and nine racetracks receive temporary sports wagering licenses for September's retail and mobile launches.

Eight mobile operators and nine racetracks receive temporary sports wagering licenses for September’s retail and mobile launches.

The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) has granted licenses to nine racetracks to host a retail sportsbook, with three more ‘coming soon’ venues also approved for when the facilities are operational. Temporary licenses for eight mobile sports betting operators have also been approved.

Retail sports wagers may be placed as early as September 7, while residents of the Bluegrass State can pre-register for online sports betting apps as early as Monday August 28 for an eventual September 28 online launch. While previously seven racetracks and seven mobile operators had applied for licensing, more have been approved.

Previous contenders announced included: FanDuel, DraftKings, BetMGM, bet365, Penn Sports Interactive (ESPN Bet), Caesars and Circa Sports. However, Fanatics has also thrown one of its many hats into the ring and secured a mobile license approval as well.

Fanatics officially launched in its first four states (Maryland, Massachusetts, Ohio and Tennessee) exactly a week ago, and announced a retail sportsbook location in partnership with baseball team, The Cleveland Guardians, earlier this week. The apparel merchandising company also acquired PointsBet’s US operations in May as part of its journey to becoming a sports betting operator.

DraftKings announced its retail sportsbook partnership with two ECL Corbin properties yesterday. As one of the leaders in the market, this announcement came as less of a surprise than Fanatics now having a horse in Kentucky’s sports wagering race.

The following nine properties were approved for retail licensing:

  • Churchill Downs, Louisville
  • Derby City Gaming, Louisville
  • Ellis Park, Henderson
  • The Mint Gaming Hall Cumberland Run, Corbin
  • The Mint Gaming Hall Cumberland, Williamsburg
  • Newport Racing and Gaming, Newport
  • Oak Grove Gaming and Racing, Oak Grove
  • The Red Mile, Lexington
  • Turfway Park, Florence

Three further properties will also be approved for retail sportsbooks when they are operational:

  • Derby City Gaming, Downtown Louisville
  • Ellis Park, Owensboro
  • Sandy’s Gaming and Racing, Ashland

All licenses have the possibility to be converted to annual licenses from their current temporary issue. Sports betting in Kentucky is predicted to generate $23m annually in state revenue funds, which will benefit Kentucky’s permanent pension and a problem gambling assistance program.


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