Kentucky Retail Sports Betting Launches, Gov. Andy Beshear Places First Wager

Kentucky has officially launched retail sports betting as of 10am ET on September 7. Some of the top horse racing tracks in the state open up their in-person sports betting locations today, with Gov. Andy Beshear placing the first wager at the iconic Churchill downs. Meanwhile, bettors will prepare for the rollout of mobile sports betting later this September.

Kentucky Retail Sports Betting is Live

After months of waiting, Kentucky sports fans can finally start placing bets on their favorite events! Retail sportsbooks are available at horse racing tracks across the state, such as Cumberland Run, Churchill Downs, and Turfway Park Racing & Gaming.

To commemorate this occasion, Governor Andy Beshear has placed the very first bet in Kentucky sports betting history. Beshear was instrumental in legalizing Kentucky sports wagering, supporting legislation in previous years and signing the sports betting bill HB 551 into law on March 31, 2023. The Governor placed the first wager at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky, home of the Kentucky Derby each year.

Beshear’s wager was reportedly a parlay including three futures bets. The $20 college football wager included over bets on the Louisville Cardinals and Kentucky Wildcats win totals, with the under on the win total for the Duke Blue Devils. Meanwhile, for the opening event at Turfway Park, Lt. Governor Jacqueline Coleman placed a $20 Cincinnati Bengals Super Bowl futures bet.

In a press release from the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, Coleman said, “Sports wagering will benefit all Kentuckians. It means more revenue for economic development, disaster relief and infrastructure projects, like new roads, bridges and clean water. It means more money for our public schools and support for the pensions of firefighters, public servants, teachers and law enforcement officers. Simply put, sports wagering is helping us build a better Kentucky for everyone.”

Now that retail sports betting has gone live in the state, bettors will be able to place bets on the highly-anticipated kickoff of the NFL season. Thursday Night Football showcases the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs hosting the Detroit Lions. As the first pro football game to bet on in the history of the Bluegrass State, the game should see a major handle.

Where to Bet in Kentucky and How Old You Need to Be

Location AddressSports Betting Age Requirement
Churchill Downs700 Central Ave, Louisville, KY 4020818+
Derby City Gaming4520 Poplar Level Rd, Louisville, KY 4021321+
Ellis Park Racing & GamingEllis Park Race Track, 3300 US Hwy 41 N, Henderson, KY 4242021+
Kentucky Downs
Lexington, Kentucky 40510TBD
The Mint Gaming Hall Cumberland
244 Penny Ln, Williamsburg, KY 4076918+
The Mint Gaming Hall at Cumberland Run75 Buchanan Blvd, Corbin, KY 4070118+
Newport Racing & Gaming1723 Monmouth St, Newport, KY 41071TBD
Oak Grove Racing, Gaming, & Hotel5629 Nashville Rd, Franklin, KY 4213421+
Red Mile Gaming & Racing 1200 Red Mile Road Lexington, KY 4050421+
Sandy's Racing & Gaming 10699 U.S. 60 Ashland, Kentucky 41102TBD (Opening This Fall)
Turfway Park Racing & Gaming7500 Turfway Rd, Florence, KY 4104221+

Technically, the legal betting age in the state of Kentucky is 18 and up. This is the case for wagering on horse racing, playing the Kentucky lottery, and playing real money bingo games. But when it comes to sports wagering, some platforms will require bettors to be 18 and up while others will only allow sports bettors that are 21 and up.

A select handful of mobile betting sites are targeting a 21+ betting age for their platforms, such as BetMGM Sportsbook, FanDuel Sportsbook, and Caesars Sportsbook. DraftKings Sportsbook, on the other hand, will only require sports bettors to be 18 years of age or older. Expect the same with retail sportsbooks, as individual locations may require sports bettors to be 21 and up.

Kentucky sports betting law also restricts individuals that are coaches, athletes, and athletic directors when it comes to sports betting. College sports betting has been a hot topic throughout the year, between University of Dayton head coach Anthony Grant speaking out over player harassment and the Iowa college betting controversy.

Without many professional sorts teams to cheer on in the Bluegrass State, college sports betting will be a big focus for bettors in the area.

Kentucky Online Betting Pre-Live Bonuses & Launch Information

Just three weeks after brick-and-mortar sportsbooks go live in the Bluegrass State, mobile sportsbooks will become fully available on September 28. Some of the top sports betting operators are launching their platforms on this date, such as DraftKings Sportsbook, Caesars Sportsbook, Bet365 Sportsbook, and BetMGM Sportsbook.

Leading into the rollout of online betting sites in the state, sports betting operators have been offering pre-launch bonuses to bettors. As is the case with retail sports betting, online betting in Kentucky coincides with a primetime football game, with a Thursday Night Football matchup between two NFC North rivals, the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers.

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$100 Bonus
$100 immediately on registration
$10/TD in GB vs Det (9/28)
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FanDuel Sportsbook
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$100 on Registration + $100 Off NFL Sunday Ticket
Anthony Elio is the Lead Writer for, focusing on sports betting, online casino gaming, and horse racing. He covers state betting handles, sportsbook partnerships, operator news, horse racing, and NHL picks. Outside of his work with LINEUPS, Elio has also written for Daily Fantasy Cafe, Innovation & Tech Today, Krazy Coupon Lady, and Residential Tech Today.

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