BetMGM has announced plans to operate in Kentucky, giving the leading sportsbook its 27th market pending a retail and mobile launch this fall.
According to a BetMGM press release issued Monday, the company is partnering with Revolutionary Racing KY (RRKY) for market access in the state. BetMGM plans to launch statewide online sports betting tied to RRKY this fall pending sports betting licensing by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission.
Additionally, a BetMGM retail sportsbook is expected to open this fall at Sandy’s Racing and Gaming in Ashland. RRKY is the owner of Sandy’s Racing and Gaming and Sandy Ridge — the nation’s newest quarter horse racetrack expected to open for racing next to Sandy’s in 2024 or 2025.
“We promised to bring a world-class facility to Ashland and wanted a world-class partner for online sports wagering across the Commonwealth and at our sportsbook lounge,” said Revolutionary Racing CEO Prentice Salter. “We’ve got that with BetMGM.”
“Kentucky has a rich history in sports and a passionate fan base,” said BetMGM CEO Adam Greenblatt. “Revolutionary Racing is an ideal partner, enabling us to deliver an entertaining and responsible gaming experience, while investing in the state through job creation and tax revenue.”
Other sportsbooks that have announced plans to launch once Kentucky sports betting goes live this fall are DraftKings (partnership yet unannounced), Caesars (Keeneland and the Red Mile), and FanDuel (Churchill Downs Inc.). Retail will launch in Kentucky on Sept. 7 followed by mobile on Sept. 28.
RRKY and the Quarter Horse Connection
Kentucky’s 2023 sports betting law requires that sports betting licenses be tethered to the state’s nine horse racetracks. RRKY was awarded the state’s ninth horse racing license for Sandy Ridge in 2022.
The 660-yard sprint track designed in consultation with the Kentucky Quarter Horse Racing Association will be the only track in Kentucky dedicated to quarter horse racing. A press release issued by RRKY in January said the company planned to invest at least “$55 million to build a Quarter Horse racetrack, equestrian center, and gaming facility, creating more than 200 good-paying jobs and more than $1 million in new local tax revenues.”
RRKY held its inaugural Sandy Ridge racing season at the Red Mile harness track in Lexington last April. They were the first quarter horse races held in Kentucky in over a decade.
Live racing at Sandy Ridge in Ashland will commence in 2024 or 2025.
Sandy Ridge will be located next to Sandy’s Racing and Gaming, a $75 million historical horse racing (HHR) and simulcast facility opening soon off US 60 in Ashland. Sandy’s Racing and Gaming will also be home to the BetMGM retail sportsbook planned this fall.
What Other Retail Books Could Come to East Kentucky?
The BetMGM retail sportsbook planned for Ashland is one of three potential East Kentucky in-person sportsbooks.
Gaming and simulcast facilities in Corbin and Williamsburg owned by The Mint Gaming Hall may also offer sports betting. However, no betting partnerships tied to those facilities have been officially announced.
The Mint Gaming also owns gaming and simulcasting facilities in Franklin and Bowling Green and two Kentucky horse racing tracks — Kentucky Downs thoroughbred track in Franklin and Cumberland Run harness track in Corbin.