FLORENCE, Ky. — Sports betting is now legal in Kentucky, but before Kentuckians can start placing wagers on their favorite teams, regulations must be reviewed and approved.

What You Need To Know

  •  Sports betting is legal in Kentucky, but the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission still must approve regulations

  •  Kentucky's nine horseracing tracks and Kentucky Speedway can open sports betting facilities

  •  They can also partner with up to three online sports betting apps

  • Future bettors at Turfway Park say they are excited to start wagering

That could happen soon, and future bettors at Turfway Park Racing & Gaming are ready for it.

Turfway is one of Kentucky’s nine racetracks that will be able to open a sports betting lounge thanks to the state’s new sports betting law. It would be safe to bet Josh McDaniel will be there when it opens.

“It’s exciting. I’ll probably try it out. I don’t gamble a whole lot. But every now and then I come up here,” McDaniel said.

Before that happens, the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission must review and approve regulations. The deadline for that is December 28, 2023 but regulators are meeting on July 10, and might give the go-ahead. The goal has been to get sports betting up and running before football season.

That would fast track Sean Smith’s ability to place bets a lot closer to home than he’s used to.

“I did it in Ohio last year during football,” Smith said. “I won about a few grand, then I stopped.”

Sadly, Smith wouldn’t reveal his secrets.

“Just lucky,” he said.

The nine racetracks can each partner with up to three online operators in addition to retail sportsbooks. Turfway has not yet announced a deal, but Senior Director of Marketing Gary Pecorello previously said it’s been on the racetrack’s radar for some time.

“When we built this property, we had our fingers crossed and anticipated and hoped that realization would come to fruition,” he said.

In recent months, the KHRC has been gathering input from other states where sports betting is legal. When it comes to which teams he hopes to profit off of, McDaniel has been looking north across the Ohio River.

“You know, the Bengals and Reds,” he said, laughing. “I don’t have any superstitious things that I do. I’ll just walk around until I feel lucky. I don’t know, feel the machine, just feel it out.”

As for sports betting will mean for Kentucky, McDaniel said, “It doesn’t seem to hurt anywhere else. So it probably helps the economy here, I’d say.”

Kentucky legislators seem to agree with him, with estimations that sports betting could bring $23 million in tax revenue to the state each year.

in The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission meets on Monday, July 10 afternoon at the Red Mile in  Lexington. The meeting will be livestreamed.