Sports Betting Coming to Kentucky
Following the news that the Kentucky state Senate passed the House Bill 551 (HB 551) for sports betting, this is likely to very quickly result in a flurry of interest within the state.
Last month, the bill passed through the House with a 63-34 majority vote and after a clear win in the Senate of 25-12. The next stop is state Governor, Andy Beshea, with this understood to be just a formality, with the politician having long supported the passing of the sports betting bill in the state, which was reflected via a Twitter post in the vote’s aftermath.
After years of urging lawmakers to legalize sports betting, we finally did it! Today’s result shows that hard work pays off.
There appears to be much anticipation following the results of the vote, as Kentucky gears up for what is likely to be a busy few months over the summer and beyond.
Reasonable License Fees Set to Attract the Behemoths
The state of Kentucky represents a great opportunity for the major operators in the US online gambling market.
With license fees of $50,000 and a renewal fee of $10,000 for mobile sports betting service providers, this could well attract the biggest brands in the US and, as a result, it could mean a major play for the lion’s share of the market.
As far as regulation goes, it will be up to the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission that will monitor the market, while under the HB 551, racetracks will be required to pay $500,000 initial fee, as well as a $50,000 renewal cost.
There is a substantial, obvious draw for state residents from a betting perspective, with arguably one of the biggest horse racing events in the calendar - The Kentucky Derby, which will no doubt result in the biggest sportsbook operators offering substantial customer acquisition deals.
Despite not having any major professional sports franchises to speak of, apart from two MLS sides; Louisville City FC and Racing Louisville FC, there is a strong collegiate scene, while operators will be more than hopeful of betting interest on franchises in other states.
Kentucky a Sports Betting Differentiator?
It will certainly be interesting to see where Kentucky ranks among other states for betting interest, though it could well be the horse racing niche that performs the strongest. There are well over 10 horse racing venues around the state and it is expected that most of these will apply for a sports betting license.
Meanwhile, another sport that could perform strongly for betting in Kentucky, is speedway, with numerous racetracks in the state, with the sport being one of the most popular - especially in terms of attendance.
It could well see the most astute operators lining up speedway sponsorships as a way to increase customer acquisition and it will be fascinating to see who is the quickest off the mark, or even if they think of this.