- Retail sports betting launched in Kentucky on Thursday at 10 a.m. ET.
- Governor Andy Beshear placed the first bet at Churchill Downs.
- Kentucky online sports betting launches on September 28.
FRANKFORT, Ky. – Legal Kentucky sports betting officially arrived with Governor Andy Beshear’s inaugural first bet at Churchill Downs. House Bill 551 representative Michael Meredith will place the first wager at Red Mile Gaming alongside Senator Damon Thayer and Adam Koenig.
The four men were imperative for the legalization of Kentucky sports betting and deserving of placing the first legal bets in the state.
Churchill Downs and Red Mile are just two of the eight retail locations hosting legal sports betting in Kentucky.
Cumberland Run, Derby City, Ellis Park, Newport, Oak Grove, The Mint, and Turfway Park are the other approved tracks doubling as a race and sportsbook.
Andy Beshear Goes with a Parlay for the First Legal Bet
In most cases, the first legal bet in a state is typically a $20 futures bet on the state’s professional team to win their respective championship. With no professional teams in Kentucky, Governor Beshear took it up a notch with a three-team college football parlay for the inaugural bet.
Beshear put $20 on the Kentucky Wildcats and Louisville Cardinals to go over their season win totals. The third leg features the under on the Duke Blue Devils season wins.
At Red Mile Gaming & Racing, Senator Thayer put $20 on the Cincinnati Bengals to win the Super Bowl. Former Representative Koenig bet $10 on FC Cincinnati to win the MLS Cup. Meanwhile, Representative Meredith placed $20 on the Kentucky Wildcats to win the NCAA Championship.
Governor Beshear Excited in Big Day for Kentucky
We have a historic day ahead of us, Kentucky! After years of hard work, sports betting is legal in the commonwealth – and I am proud to be placing the first bet at 10 a.m. EDT at @ChurchillDowns. I’m on my way now! pic.twitter.com/p01ZrTzNtu
— Governor Andy Beshear (@GovAndyBeshear) September 7, 2023
Governor Beshear showed his excitement on Twitter, saying “Folks have wanted this for years and I am proud we’re delivering. This is a good day for Kentucky; its going to boost our tourism, it’s going to keep our dollars in state and I am so excited we could get it over the finish line, get it done, and now sports betting is legal in Kentucky.”
Beshear is right about keeping the dollars in state. Estimates show Kentucky will earn $23 million annually in tax revenue. But, many expect it to be more like $30 million per year.
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Zach graduated from Florida State University with a degree in Writing, Editing, and Media. Zach is interested in the legalization aspect of sports betting and enjoys participating in DFS. He has a passion for sports writing and most enjoys writing about football and baseball both professional and collegiate.