There Will Soon Be A New Option For WV Gamblers … In Kentucky?

Written By Corey Sharp on September 20, 2023 - Last Updated on September 21, 2023
Map of Ashland, KY, where Sandy's Racing and Gaming will give WV bettors a gambling option

Sandy’s Racing and Gaming is coming to Kentucky, but West Virginia gamblers will have the opportunity to participate.

The facility has been strategically placed in Ashland, Kentucky, which sits next to the West Virginia and Ohio borders.

Since Kentucky does not have casinos, Sandy’s Racing and Gaming is offering other gaming entertainment for players to enjoy.

Sandy’s Racing and Gaming expected to open in October

Sandy’s Racing and Gaming is basically as far east in Kentucky as it can possibly get. It’ll be the closest gambling experience to a West Virginia casino (or West Virginia online casino if you prefer the mobile version of games), without it actually being in the Mountain State.

Revolutionary Racing, which operates Sandy’s Racing and Gaming, saw an opportunity to construct the first quarter horse racetrack in Kentucky. Once the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission granted the license, Revolutionary Racing was able to open two Historic Horse Racing (HHR) facilities in the state.

Since there are no casino games permitted in Kentucky, Sandy’s Racing and Gaming is offering around 700 HHR games, which are slot-like machines, but operate as skill games. All of the games are based on information from previous horse races all over the country.

Revolutionary Racing VP of Communications, Steve Patterson, told PlayWV that you don’t need to be a horse racing fanatic to play:

“It’s a creative way for states that don’t want to allow casinos to approve this. My wife truly knows nothing about horse racing and she played HHR games in Lexington, and had fun playing.”

In addition to HHR options, the entertainment center is also going to have multiple restaurants and stages for live music events and comedy shows.

Patterson said Sandy’s is expected to open at some point in October.

Kentucky sports betting launch adjusts project plans

The scope of Sandy’s Racing and Gaming was originally supposed to cost $55 million. In addition to labor fees naturally increasing during construction, Kentucky passing sports betting altered the plans for Sandy’s.

The establishment decided to add a 5,200-square-foot retail BetMGM Sportsbook, which changed the range of the project to $75 million. BetMGM also has a significant presence in West Virginia, with BetMGM Sportsbook WV and BetMGM Casino WV, so customers will be used to the BetMGM operations.

“As we’re working with engineers and architects, we thought about maybe making space in anticipation of something coming. And literally as construction was happening, Kentucky legislation passed sports wagering. We made an adjustment to the blueprint and now there’s going to be a 5,200 square foot sports betting lounge.”

Sandy’s Racing and Gaming’s connection to West Virginia

Sandy’s Racing and Gaming is going to start popping up for residents in the western part of West Virginia, and as far east as Charleston. Patterson said Sandy’s is already off to a great start:

“West Virginia residents in places like Barboursville, Teas Valley and even Charleston can expect to see marketing and community-based efforts from Sandy’s in the coming weeks. We’ve also signed up several West Virginia residents for the Source Rewards program and saw a particular jump with the current promotion of a $25,000 give-away to everyone who signs up.”

Sandy’s is not just for gamblers, either. Patterson said Sandy’s anticipates employing dozens of West Virginia residents. During a recent job fair, he noted a terrific turnout from West Virginians.

Sandy’s is going to open during the heart of football season. It should see an early impact from West Virginia patrons.

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Corey Sharp

Corey Sharp is the Lead Writer at PlayWV bringing you coverage of the WV online casino market in the Mountain State. Corey is a 4-for-4 Philly sports fan and previously worked as a writer and editor for the Philadelphia Inquirer and NBC Sports Philadelphia.

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