Players in Kentucky can pre-register for online sports wagering from 28 August, ahead of the regulated market launching next month.

Kentucky’s governor, Andy Beshear, announced the initiative in his approved timetable for the rollout of legal betting.

Retail betting is going live on 7 September, with online following on 28 September. Next week’s pre-registration launch means players can sign up for an account a month ahead of the online market opening.

“The countdown is on; we are just three weeks away from sports wagering in Kentucky,” Beshear said. “We are ready to deliver the quality entertainment experience Kentuckians asked for. We’ll also bring in money to support pensions and free up funds to build a better Kentucky.”

Vote due on Kentucky licence applications

The announcement comes as the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) meets later today (22 August) to vote on licence applications.

Earlier this month, Bet365, FanDuel, BetMGM, Caesars, Circa, DraftKings and Penn Sports filed their applications.

Seven of the state’s licensed sportsbooks filed for retail licences. These include Churchill Downs, Oak Grove Gaming and Racing, Ellis Park, The Red Mile and Turfway Park. Other applicants are Cumberland Run and Sandy’s Gaming and Racing.

Racetracks may open retail sports betting facilities at their satellite locations.

From 7 September, the same day retail goes live, consumers will be able to begin depositing into their online accounts ahead of the online market opening a few weeks later.

“The KHRC is excited to open sports wagering and is working efficiently to meet the necessary deadlines” KHRC chairman Jonathan Rabinowitz said. “This is a careful process dedicated to wagering integrity and protecting bettors in the state of Kentucky.”

Two-tier tax system for sports betting

Beshear paved the way to mobile betting in Kentucky after he signed off on House Bill 551 in April.

The bill makes nine Kentucky racetracks eligible to offer on-site retail betting. Each track can partner with up to three online operators, meaning up to 27 licences are available.

Online tax rate is 14.25% of gross gambling revenue and retail 9.75%. A licence will cost a racetrack $500,000 and an online operator $50,000 to partner.

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