The Kentucky sports wagering catalog, or list of allowed bets, was unanimously approved on Aug. 31 by the Sports Wagering Advisory Council (SWAC). Because of that vote, the eight licensed sportsbook operators and the general public will soon be able to view the catalog on the regulator’s site.
What they won’t see in the catalog on the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) site is anything involving “mayhem,” said Kentucky Sports Wagering Director Hans Stokke.
Stokke made the statement in response to a question from KHRC Commissioner William May.
The SWAC member asked:
There needs to be some rules and a judge. I understand that some of those sports have gotten to the point where it’s just people trying to hurt each other to whatever degree they can. … I’d like to make sure that we keep it to events that there is a referee. There are rules. There’s some structure to what we do.
For mixed martial arts, we’ve purposely excluded contests that are not judged or scored. We don’t want anything in this catalog that is the result of mayhem.
So there are some specific types of sports that we left out of that after review.
He said the catalog also won’t include bets on the Oscars, pickleball, or slap fights.
Kentuckians must also look elsewhere to bet on events covered under parimutuel wagering. The latter include greyhound and horse racing bets.
Stokke said the Kentucky sports wagering catalog will be a living document, subject to additions and deletions.
The council then voted to approve the catalog after its inaugural 20-minute meeting today. The seven-member body, appointed by Gov. Andy Beshear on Aug. 15, works to assist and advise the KHRC on esports and sports betting matters. Today’s vote represented the council’s recommendations on sports governing bodies, sporting events, and sports wagering.
The meeting moved quickly, which fits Kentucky’s pace since HB551 became law on March 31.
By this time next week, Kentuckians can place in-person esports and sports bets at retail gaming locations. Plus, gamblers who pre-registered for accounts with the state’s eight online sportsbook operators on Aug. 28 can deposit in those accounts on Sept. 7. The full online sportsbook launch date is Sept. 28.
Esports Will Be in the Sports Wagering Catalog
KHRC Deputy Executive Director Waqas Ahmed asked Stokke about esports betting.
Stokke answered the SWAC member:
Those need to be regulated and sanctioned events to make it into the catalog.
Sanctioned video gaming events that rise to the level of the betting catalog include contests and leagues, Stokke said.
Before Kentuckians can bet on the video gaming tournaments, regulators will need to know “who’s governing it and where it’s taking place.”
Esports, Sports Betting Operators Are Approved
Stokke said licensed entities will be able to view the Kentucky sports wagering catalog on the regulator’s site.
On Aug. 22, the KHRC approved the following operators:
- Barstool (mobile)
- Bet365 (mobile)
- BetMGM (retail and mobile)
- Caesars (retail and mobile)
- Circa (mobile)
- DraftKings (retail and mobile)
- Fanatics (mobile)
- FanDuel (mobile)
The regulator hadn’t posted the Kentucky sports wagering catalog on the KHRC site as of this afternoon. However, the site’s answers to frequently asked questions still says Kentuckians can bet on “professional sports, sanctioned college sports, amateur and international sporting events such as the Olympics and World Cup soccer, and esports.”
Also, the catalog will obviously include NFL games. Beshear’s one sports wagering hope was that the marketplace would open in time for the NFL season.
Kickoff for the NFL and the Kentucky esports and sports betting marketplace is on Sept. 7, when retail sportsbooks will accept wagers in Kentucky.