Betting in the works for Franklin, Bowling Green

Published 3:48 pm Thursday, September 7, 2023

By Jake Moore, Bowling Green Daily News

FRANKLIN — Thursday marked the launch of legal in-person sports betting at nine approved venues across Kentucky.

A notable exception to the list was the Mint Gaming Hall at Kentucky Downs and in Bowling Green.

While the Mint properties in Corbin and Williamsburg have opened up for retail betting in partnership with DraftKings and Circa Sports, local sports fans in and around Warren County will need to wait just a little while longer before they can make in-person wagers at the Mints at Kentucky Downs and in Bowling Green.

John Wholihan, marketing director for the Mint Gaming Hall at Kentucky Downs, said to expect an announcement in the near future – “within the month” – regarding plans for retail betting in those two locations.

“It’s coming, and it’s going to be a major-league facility,” Wholihan said. “We want this to be good.”

He explained that the in-person component for the two locations depends on partner planning, selecting a location in the facilities to hold the sports betting operations and the necessary renovations to bring in the right kiosks and tellers.

Wholihan added that sports betting works as an amenity, similar to Kentucky Downs’ Irons Steakhouse and its recently opened SpringHill Suites by Marriott, and that the new option should positively impact attendance once it arrives.

“Machines are the main money-maker and the main traffic driver, but maybe hubby comes up because he can make a sports bet,” Wholihan said. “Will we see a little increase? Absolutely.”

Mobile gaming will launch statewide Sept. 28. In the meantime, folks can pre-register with approved applications in anticipation of the big day.

Wholihan pointed out that, in the absence of the retail option, patrons will still be able to make mobile bets and watch how they play out on the six screens at the Kentucky Downs’ Center Bar or on the casino stage.

“We’re partners with DraftKings (and) we encourage people to go to their app and sign up,” Wholihan said. “You’re in business making bets on the 28th.”