Kentucky legalizes sports betting: Mint Gaming Hall to add sportsbook to amenities

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Many sports fans are cheering across the commonwealth Friday after Governor Andy Beshear signed House Bill 551, making Kentucky the 38th state to legalize sports betting. 

Republican Representative Michael Meredith, who recently introduced House Bill 551, said, “It’s just exciting. You know, we were worried two nights ago that we weren’t going to be able to get all the votes rounded up that we needed to get this done. And then all of a sudden yesterday afternoon, everything came together just in the right way, So, pretty exciting day.”

Come this summer, Kentuckians 18+ can legally engage in sports betting through licensed facilities or online with websites or apps. This is an opportunity Representative Meredith says will drive huge tax revenue.

“[We’re] still expecting 22 to 23 million once we have a full year of tax revenue from it. I think it could very well be more than that. That’s just the projection based on best guesses. But I think if you look at the other states that have done it, it’s exceeded expectations and almost every one of those states.”

Under HB 551, online gaming providers can partner with horseracing tracks in the commonwealth. The option to offer both race and sportsbooks is an opportunity the Mint Gaming Hall says they’re looking forward to grabbing hold of.

Mint Gaming Hall Director of Marketing John Wholihan said, “The biggest thing with the sports wagering is that it’s an amenity. So, it’s just one more thing for us to offer to guests so they have the freedom of choice. Some people really like our games. Some people like to come in and eat or drink. Some people like the horse race simulcast. And now we have just one more thing to offer with the sports wagering coming soon.”

Meredith tells us the bill will go effective this July with the bulk of these profits set to benefit Kentucky’s Pension Fund.

The Mint Gaming Hall says they’re getting right to work incorporating change, aiming to keep residents from our Tennessee-bordering counties here in the commonwealth come football season.

“Now folks in South Central Kentucky aren’t going to have to drive to Tennessee all the time if they want to place a sports wager.”

“You can watch [residents from our Tennessee-bordering counties] go across the state line, make their sports wagers there and come back. So, we hope some of that money stays on the Commonwealth side.”