There Can Be 14 Retail Sportsbooks In KY But None At Kentucky Speedway

Written By Matthew Bain on July 10, 2023
14 eligible KY retail sportsbooks, not Kentucky Speedway

Kentucky will begin accepting retail sports betting license applications on Tuesday. And, in a new revelation from Monday’s Kentucky Horse Racing Commission meeting, there will be 14 venues eligible to offer retail sports betting.

Previously, it was believed that 10 entities in Kentucky — the nine horse racetracks and the Kentucky Speedway — would be able to apply for retail sportsbook licenses.

However, the KHRC said Monday that only facilities affiliated with horse racing associations will be eligible.

That means no Kentucky Speedway.

“Kentucky Speedway is not an eligible location,” a KHRC spokesperson told PlayKentucky on Monday.

Which 14 venues can have retail sportsbooks?

According to the Kentucky sports betting regulations approved Monday, the nine horse racetracks can apply to house retail sportsbooks at their racing venues, as well as attached simulcast facilities and historical horse racing gaming halls.

That leaves a total of 14 eligible venues:

  • Churchill Downs (Louisville)
  • Cumberland Run (Corbin, opening in 2024)
  • Derby City Gaming (Louisville)
  • Derby City Gaming Downtown (Louisville, opening in late 2023)
  • Ellis Park (Henderson)
  • Ellis Park extension (TBD)
  • Keeneland (Lexington)
  • Kentucky Downs (Franklin)
  • The Mint Gaming Hall (Bowling Green)
  • Newport Racing & Gaming (Newport)
  • Oak Grove Racing & Gaming (Oak Grove)
  • Sandy’s Racing & Gaming (Ashland, opening in October)
  • The Red Mile (Lexington)
  • Turfway Park (Florence)

Again, these venues can begin submitting their license applications Tuesday. Per the KHRC, retail sports betting will launch on Sept. 7 and online sportsbooks will go live on Sept. 28.

Because there are now nine eligible venues, and each can partner with up to three mobile operators, there will now be up to 27 online sportsbooks in Kentucky, instead of 30.

The future of the Ellis Park extension is up in the air after Churchill Downs Inc. recently decided to cancel its plans to build the facility at the Towne Square Mall in Owensboro. There’s still hope CDI will build its Ellis Park extension somewhere in Daviess County. But, for now, the exact location is to be determined.

What we know already about retail sportsbooks in KY

Churchill Downs has already announced it’s partnering with FanDuel. However, we don’t yet know which Churchill Downs Inc. property (Churchill Downs, both Derby City Gaming locations, both Ellis Park locations, Newport Racing and Gaming, Oak Grove Racing and Gaming, and Turfway Park) will house the retail FanDuel Kentucky Sportsbook.

Keeneland and the Red Mile, both owned by Keeneland Association Inc., have partnered with Caesars Sportsbook Kentucky.

Sandy’s Racing & Gaming told PlayKentucky it’s close to announcing its sportsbook partner. In June, Kentucky Downs told PlayKentucky it would wait until regulations were approved before announcing any partnerships.

News of sports betting deals struck between Kentucky racetracks and online operators will surely trickle out in the coming days and weeks as final negotiations are completed.

BetMGM Sportsbook and DraftKings Sportsbook will both no doubt launch in Kentucky. It’s also smart to predict Bet365 Sportsbook continues its push for US expansion in the Bluegrass State.

Photo by Associated Press
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Matthew Bain

Matthew Bain started as a Content Manager for PlayKentucky and other Catena Media sites in 2022. He covered the launch of Massachusetts sports betting and the Prop 26 vs. Prop 27 battle in California. Before that, he spent six years as a sports reporter and then deputy sports editor for the Des Moines Register, during which time he won nine statewide journalism awards, including the Genevieve Mauck Stoufer Outstanding Young Iowa Journalists Award. As deputy sports editor, Matthew oversaw the Register's recruiting coverage while also innovating the outlet's high school sports coverage. Matthew graduated from San Diego State and grew up in California, but he's somehow a Boston Celtics fan. Long story.

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