Kentucky Sports Betting Regulators Clear ESPN Bet, New Markets

Written By

Updated on

Kentucky sports betting

Despite launching online Kentucky sports betting in late September, Bluegrass State regulators are still fine-tuning the market.

At a meeting Tuesday, the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission Sports Wagering Advisory Council signed off on the Penn Entertainment transition to the ESPN Bet brand. The council also approved multiple new sports for the Kentucky sports betting catalog.

In-person Kentucky sports betting began September 7, while online sportsbooks launched September 28.

ESPN Bet gets permanent OK

KHRC Executive Director Jamie Eads allowed Penn to rebrand its sportsbook to ESPN Bet with temporary approval. 

The change came November 14, when Penn switched its platform branding from Barstool Sportsbook to ESPN Bet.

The KHRC advisory council unanimously approved the permanent switch.

New Kentucky sports betting options

The Kentucky sports betting market opened with an expansive sports betting catalog. Still, the KHRC received several additional requests from sportsbook operators.

Those requests were unanimously approved at Tuesday’s meeting. Among the new offerings: 

How Kentucky sports betting is shaping up

Gov. Andy Beshear signed sports betting into law in March. Following a relatively quick turnaround to go live, Kentucky regulators have not run into any issues, according to the KHRC meeting.

In late October, Beshear announced Kentucky sportsbooks had taken nearly $250 million in wagers in the first month of online action.

“Kentucky is approaching $250 million wagered. That is a strong number that certainly reflects excitement for the opening of sports wagering,” Beshear said in a statement. “It has taken many years to get here, but sports wagering is finally a reality in Kentucky. This is a win-win for Kentuckians, who can enjoy a quality entertainment experience and benefit from funds staying right here in our state to help us build a better Kentucky.”

What Kentucky sportsbooks are live?

Kentucky’s nine horse racing tracks can partner with up to three online sportsbook operators. However, there are only eight partnerships active in the state.

The state has seven sportsbooks taking bets, with Circa Sports preparing for a launch. Those sportsbooks are: