The biggest local name in Kentucky gaming will be the first to kick off sports betting next month.
Churchill Downs Inc. announced its plans for Kentucky sports betting Wednesday. That includes Gov. Andy Beshear placing the state’s first bet at Churchill Downs Racetrack at 10 a.m. September 7, the day sports betting launches in Kentucky.
In the announcement, CEO Bill Carstanjen thanked Beshear, the Kentucky General Assembly, the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission and the Kentucky Public Protection Cabinet for getting sports betting off the ground.
“Sports betting as a tourism and economic development opportunity will further strengthen the state’s signature equine industry by bringing new guests into our live and historical racing venues,” Carstanjen said in the release.
Kentucky sports betting plans for Churchill Downs
In-person sports betting in Kentucky begins September 7, three weeks before mobile operators can go live September 28. CDI will open the market with six in-person sportsbooks.
The Race and Sports Books will integrate sports betting kiosks into existing bars and simulcast areas. CDI partnered with Kambi for in-person sportsbook operations.
CDI’s Race and Sports Books will operate at:
- Churchill Downs Racetrack in Louisville
- Derby City Gaming & Hotel in Louisville
- Ellis Park Racing & Gaming in Henderson
- Newport Racing & Gaming in Newport
- Oak Grove Racing, Gaming & Hotel in Oak Grove
- Turfway Park Racing & Gaming in Florence
In-person sportsbook details
CDI’s historical horse racing machine venues will have “Bet & Jet” parking spots, giving bettors 15-minute parking to place in-person sports bets.
CDI sportsbook details include
- Churchill Downs: 15 kiosks, 168-square-foot video screen, 20 large TVs
- Derby City: 15 kiosks, 300-square-foot screen, 12 large TVs
- Ellis Park: Five kiosks
- Newport: 10 kiosks, 20 large TVs
- Oak Grove: 20 kiosks, 300-square-foot screen, eight large TVs
- Turfway: 15 kiosks, 300-square-foot screen, 16 large TVs
Churchill ready for online sports betting
The KHRC approved multiple sports betting licenses Tuesday, including Churchill Downs facilities and connected sportsbook operators. Each Kentucky horse racing track can partner with up to three sportsbooks.
While online sports betting does not begin until September 28, Kentuckians can start registering online accounts August 28 and depositing money September 7.
Churchill Downs tracks partnered with three online operators for the initial wave. Those partnerships are:
- Ellis Park with Penn Sports Interactive
- Oak Grove with Fanatics
- Turfway Park with FanDuel
Online sportsbook partnerships
There are five other online sportsbooks set to go live September 28.
Partnerships outside CDI are:
- Bet365 with Sandy’s Racing and Gaming
- BetMGM withSandy’s Racing and Gaming
- Caesars with The Red Mile
- Circa Sports with Cumberland Run
- DraftKings with Cumberland Run
CDI left online sports betting behind
While its home state is rolling out online sports betting this year, Churchill Downs wound down the majority of its TwinSpires-branded online sportsbooks last year. It is still live in Arizona.
CDI struggled to gain much traction in the US sports betting market. Even before shutting down its online sports betting, CDI rebranded its BetAmerica product to the TwinSpires brand in 2021.