April 3, 2023 2 min read


Gov. Beshear Signs HB 551 into Law, Legalizes Sports Betting in Kentucky

It is now official: Kentucky will become another state where sports punters can legally wager on sporting events

Kentucky has officially passed a law that legalizes sports betting in the state. House Bill 551 was introduced a few weeks ago and quickly gained traction, passing the House, a Senate committee and later the Senate itself.

Last Friday, just a few hours after the Senate approved the measure, Governor Andy Beshear signed it into law, cementing the foray of sports betting into the Bluegrass state.

Despite the strong support for the bill, some had doubts about its passing. Representative Michael Meredith, one of the biggest supporters of legal betting in the state, remained cautiously optimistic throughout the process.

Luckily, HB 551 had no trouble passing through the house and was quickly cleared by a Senate committee. The Senate itself finally passed the measure with 25 votes. For reference, the bill needed at least 23 votes to pass.

HB 551 follows prior measures that have tried to introduce sports betting in Kentucky. Unfortunately, last year’s bill missed its mark, despite reaching the Senate.

The approval of HB 551 attests to the growing popularity of sports betting in the United States. 2022 was a record year for America’s gambling industry, with many analysts believing that 2023 will be an even stronger year. With this in mind, it is hardly surprising that more and more states are mulling the legalization of the vertical and capitalizing on its expanding presence.

Beshear Says It Was High Time to Legalize Betting

Kentucky’s Governor addressed the matter, saying that it was high time for the state to pass sports betting.

In a press conference, the Governor pointed out that he has supported the introduction of legal sports betting for years. According to Beshear, this new law will allow Kentucky to be competitive and on par with its neighboring states.

If Kentucky has its own sports betting ecosystem, gamblers will be able to play without visiting Ohio, Indiana or West Virginia. Thanks to this, Kentucky money will not leak into other states.

After years of urging action, sports betting will be legal in Kentucky. We made it happen. This industry will bring new jobs, tourism and growth.

Governor Andy Beshear

Now that HB 551 has been officially written into law, Kentucky’s horse racing tracks will be allowed to open retail sportsbooks. Each of them will be able to team up with up to three online sports betting companies as well. Kentucky will, therefore, be able to have up to 27 legal online sportsbooks.


Although Fiona doesn't have a long-spanning background within the gambling industry, she is an incredibly skilled journalist who has built a strong interest in the constantly growing iGaming network. The team at GamblingNews.com is glad to have her on our roster to help deliver the best stories as soon as they hit. Aside from writing, she loves to dabble in online casino games such as slots and roulette, both for her own enjoyment and also as research to better improve her understanding of the industry.

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