Churchill Downs Lays Out Kentucky Sports Betting Plans

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Kentucky sports betting

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: 

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 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: 

Online sportsbook partnerships

There are five other online sportsbooks set to go live September 28. 

Partnerships outside CDI are: 

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.

Instead, the company pivoted to B2B partnerships with TwinSpires, helping sportsbooks like DraftKings and FanDuel integrate horse racing products into their sportsbook apps.

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.