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Forte runs on the track during the morning training as we look at our top free Kentucky Derby picks and predictions.
Forte runs on the track during the morning training for the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 03, 2023 in Louisville, Kentucky. Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images via AFP.

Kentucky legal sports betting is just a week away with retail launch coming Sept. 7 and Kentucky sports betting apps going live Sept. 28. We now have a list of events that have been approved for sports wagering, with a couple of curious omissions.

The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission met Thursday and approved its list of sports betting opportunities when Kentucky sports betting in-person wagering commences next week and mobile sports betting becomes a reality three weeks later.

“Excitement for sports wagering is building as we are just one week away from opening retail locations and one month from opening mobile applications for sports wagering,” Gov. Andy Beshear said. “Kentuckians now know where they can place a bet and the type of sporting events and wagers that licensees can offer.”

The list 

The commission on Thursday paved the way for a somewhat broad list of events that Kentuckians can bet on. Included on that list are: 

  • NFL
  • MLB 
  • NHL
  • NBA
  • WNBA
  • NCAA baseball, softball, basketball, football, and hockey
  • XFL
  • USFL
  • Canadian Football League
  • LIV Golf
  • eSports
  • Japan Nippon Professional Baseball
  • FIBA sanctioned basketball events
  • Cycling
  • Boxing
  • Motorsports
  • Netball (ANZ Premiership and Super Netball)
  • Sailing (Americas Cup)
  • X Games
  • Winter and Summer Olympics
  • Major League Eating Sanctioned Events
  • Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest

Curiously, unlike the best sports betting sites, the commission left out, at least for now, wagering opportunities on:

  • Dog and horse racing
  • Pickleball
  • Events not considered sports, like the Academy Awards and Emmy Awards
  • Market types of injuries, penalties and replay-related
  • Disciplinary proceedings

“Some leagues and wager types that are available in other jurisdictions, we decided weren’t right in our initial offering,” KHRC director of sports wagering Hans Stokke said. “For our initial offering, we chose the sporting events that are governed by a governing body we felt comfortable with the research we’ve done.”

Horse racing is the biggest standout omission on the list, considering Kentucky's rich history of equestrian events. As it stands, Bluegrass State residents will still be required to place horse racing bets at one of its numerous tracks or download a separate horse racing betting site in order to wager on the ponies.

“There are some omissions from this catalog that will not be allowed in Kentucky that you might find in other jurisdictions, particularly any dogs or horse races will not be included in our catalog,” said Stokke.

We'll see how long horse racing remains on the omissions list.

Bet types approved

Kentucky bettors will have a full menu of bet types to consider when retail sports betting goes live Sept. 7 and mobile is launched on Kentucky sports betting apps on Sept. 28.

The list of bet types from the commission is familiar and includes single-game bets, teasers, parlays, Over/Under bets, moneyline bets, pools, in-game wagering, in-play bets, proposition bets, and straight bets.

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What's next

The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission approval of events and bet types is one of the final pieces of the pre-launch puzzle for Bluegrass State legal sports betting regulators.

All that is left is ratification of the plans by the commission at their next meeting, which will come prior to next week's launch.

There is also the matter of new sports and events being added to Kentucky's legal sports betting menu.

“There is a possibility to add more later,” Hans Stokke said. 

“There were several that we considered for the initial offering that we decided to omit primarily because we didn't have the time to vet each of them as carefully as we would like to, but that we may consider for that mobile launch on the 28."

So Kentucky bettors, get ready for liftoff of what promises to be a brisk, exciting, and long-overdue legalization of sports betting in your state. You can sign up for Kentucky sports betting apps and take advantage of Kentucky sportsbook promos now and prepare to place your first retail sports bet when it officially goes live Sept. 7.