Kentucky opens up for online sports betting

Louisville, Kentucky
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Operators in Kentucky have pressed the launch button on their platforms, allowing players in the state to legally bet online for the first time. 

From today, operators will begin taking bets on their online and mobile sportsbooks. The operators to have one of the eight licenses are: bet365, BetMGM, Caesars, Circa, DraftKings, Fanatics, FanDuel, and Penn. Circa is yet to launch, though.

The online launch comes just two weeks after the Bluegrass State went live with retail betting, taking $4.5m in bets during the first seven days of activity. 

“We can’t wait to bring sports fans across the Bluegrass State even closer to their favorite leagues and teams with our leading Sportsbook product and offerings,” said FanDuel’s President Christian Genetski.

The licensees have all been given a one-year temporary license for their Kentucky operations, which costing $500,000 each. Operators will be taxed at 14.25% of their total GGR. 

Much fanfare was made when the Kentucky legislation stipulated that 18-year-olds could bet, though most operators have opted to stick with the standard 21 and over policy. However, DraftKings and Bet365 will allow 18-20-year-olds to bet. 

Matt Kalish, President of DraftKings North America, added: “Kentucky marks the 24th Jurisdiction overall where DraftKings is live, and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to deliver sports fans across Kentucky with our safe and legal mobile DraftKings Sportsbook app. 

“It’s an exciting time of year with the NFL and college football seasons currently underway, and we look forward to being the ultimate host, providing customers with a seamless and enjoyable sports betting experience.”

Further regulations in the market include operators being required to offer the voluntary self-exclusion list to their players, while terms such as “risk-free” or “free” bets have been banned from marketing material. 

The Kentucky Sports Wagering Advisory Council approved a catalog of sports to be wagered on, including all of the major sports leagues, esports, F1 and MMA. 

However, Kentuckians will not be able to make prop bets on college athletes, make fixed-odds horse race bets or bet on awards ceremonies. 

Gov. Andy Beshear stated: “Sports wagering has already been a big hit in the Commonwealth with $4.5m already bet, and that means those dollars stay here in Kentucky. Everyone enjoy, do it responsibly and know that this is a win-win for Kentucky as these dollars will help our people.”