The Governor of Kentucky, Andy Beshear, placed the first in-person sports wager at Churchill Downs, the Kentucky Public Protection Cabinet said in a release Thursday morning.
The bet was a $20 parlay on the win “over” for the University of Kentucky and University of Louisville football teams, and the “under” for Duke University's squad.
“Today is a great day to celebrate and have a little bit of fun doing so,” said Gov. Beshear. “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.”
Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman placed a wager at an opening event at Northern Kentucky's Turfway Park, betting $20 on the Cincinnati Bengals to win the Super Bowl.
“Sports wagering will benefit all Kentuckians,” said Lt. Gov. Coleman. “It means more revenue for economic development, disaster relief and infrastructure projects, like new roads, bridges and clean water. It means more money for our public schools and support for the pensions of firefighters, public servants, teachers and law enforcement officers. Simply put, sports wagering is helping us build a better Kentucky for everyone.”
With college football already underway, the opening of retail sportsbooks comes just in time for the kickoff of the NFL season this weekend. A list of licensed retail sportsbooks is available here with several locations coming soon.
Sports wagering is expected to increase the state's revenue by an estimated $23 million a year upon full implementation. The increase in revenue will support the oversight of sports wagering and then be dedicated to the Kentucky permanent pension fund.