BOYD COUNTY, KY (WOWK) – Legal sports betting has officially made its way to eastern Kentucky with Sandy’s Racing and Gaming opening in Boyd County Thursday evening.

Governor Andy Beshear joined community leaders for the ribbon-cutting ceremony, officially welcoming the new gaming center and the economic boost that comes with it to the area.

“This whole region, you got your own racetrack. You’ve got your own tourism draw and you have your own sportsbook,” Governor Beshear says during his remarks at the ceremony.

Once you open the doors to the more than $70 million facility, you’ll see slot machines, a sportsbook, bars, and hear live music.

Governor Beshear even made the first wager following the ceremony, betting on the upcoming Kentucky Wildcats basketball game against Tennessee.

As for the quarter horse track, which was also promised along with the gaming center, representatives from Revolutionary Racing say it’s on its way.

In fact, at the end of the ribbon cutting, they kicked off construction by setting off an explosion behind the gaming center where the new track will be built.

The horse track won’t be complete until the spring of 2025, but in the meantime, people are getting excited about the new gaming center, which is expected to bring in more than $1 million in tax revenues.

However, many who came to the grand opening say they like that it’s closer to home.

“It’s a 30-minute drive you know. It beats driving to Charleston all the time. We’ll just come over here and have a good time,” Louisa, Kentucky resident Blake Sturgell says as he plays one of the many slot machines.

The gaming center will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 a.m. every day.