BetMGM, the online gambling arm of Las Vegas-based casino giant MGM Resorts International, has announced its intention to open in Kentucky.
The company has partnered with Revolutionary Racing Kentucky (RRKY) to bring its online and retail sports betting platform to the state. That’s pending the launch of the newly legalized Kentucky sports betting market in September.
The partnership will also see the opening of a retail BetMGM Sportsbook at Sandy’s Racing & Gaming (rendering pictured). Sandy’s is a forthcoming casino, racing, and entertainment facility in Ashland owned by RRKY. The sportsbook, which will occupy 5,200 square feet of the new property, is set to open this fall.
“Kentucky has a rich history in sports and a passionate fan base,” said BetMGM CEO Adam Greenblatt in a company press release.
“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.”
Revolutionary Racing Agreement
The partnership between BetMGM and Revolutionary Racing is a significant step towards the launch of legalized sports betting in Kentucky. The companies are preparing to offer online sports betting capabilities as soon as the state’s regulated market commences, subject to licensure and regulatory approval.
Revolutionary Racing CEO Prentice Salter echoed Greenblatt’s sentiments.
“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. We’ve got that with BetMGM,” he said.
The retail BetMGM Sportsbook will be part of the $75 million Sandy’s Racing & Gaming development.
The venue will also be the only casino gaming destination in Eastern Kentucky when it is expected to open this fall. Following the launch, the construction of a new horse racing track and equestrian center will commence on 182 acres adjacent to Sandy’s, with the first races launching in 2025.
Responsible Gaming and the Wider Market
As BetMGM plans it Kentucky launch, it outlined its continued commitment to responsible gambling.
It follows newly confirmed Kentucky sportsbook Caesars Sportsbook in restricting its online operation to bettors 21 and over. That’s even though the state’s legislation allows players of 18-plus to register.
BetMGM also says it will provide resources to help Kentucky customers play responsibly, including GameSense, a program developed and licensed to MGM Resorts by the British Columbia Lottery Corporation.
The program is integrated within BetMGM’s mobile and desktop platforms.
The expansion of BetMGM into Kentucky marks the second confirmed entrant into the market. Caesars Sportsbook also announced its entrance in July.
The state’s famous Churchill Downs racetrack, home of the Kentucky Derby, has previously confirmed it is interested in launching a full sports betting platform in its home state.
However, it has yet to give any details on who, if anyone, it will be working with. Speculation is it will team with its existing national partner sportsbook, FanDuel, but nothing is confirmed yet.
Churchill Downs announced it will also reopen for racing in September after a two-month suspension as it investigated excess equine deaths at the track.
Meanwhile, Kentucky sports betting is set to launch for retail books on September 7, and then September 28 for mobile bets. No word on what exact date BetMGM will open yet. But expect it to be soon after the market launch.
Related: BetMGM vs Caesars Sportsbook, a complete comparison guide