Kentucky Sports Betting Handle Hits $250M, Says Governor Beshear
Kentucky’s sports betting market has seen a surge in activity since last month’s launch, with nearly $250 million wagered and close to 500,000 betting accounts created.
Kentucky online sports betting accounted for 93.6% of the that total handle.
Governor Andy Beshear in September became the first person in the state to place a legal sports wager. He has since praised the positive impact of sports betting on Kentucky, saying it will help build a better state for all residents.
“It has taken many years to get here, but sports wagering is finally a reality in Kentucky. This is a win-win for Kentuckians, who can enjoy a quality entertainment experience and benefit from funds staying right here in our state to help us build a better Kentucky,” he said in a social media post.
Mobile sports betting has dominated the handle overall since the launch of Kentucky betting. Some $232.3 million of the entire handle has been wagered through online betting accounts since the initial launch last month.
The Bluegrass State now hoists plenty of the top U.S. mobile sports betting operators, such as BetMGM, DraftKings, Bet365, FanDuel, and Caesars. Las Vegas-based Circa Sports was late to the party, launching partway through October and rounding out the list of seven options so far.
Meanwhile, Kentucky retail sportsbooks have taken in $15.7 million in total handle so far. Retail betting venues in the state have to be partnered with an existing or upcoming horse racing track or horse racing betting facility.
Some of the top retail sports betting spots include the Caesars Sportsbook at Red Mile Gaming & Racing, the Fanatics Sportsbook at Oak Grove Racing, Gaming, & Hotel, and the DraftKings Sportsbook at The Mint Gaming Hall at Cumberland Run.
Retail Head Start Not Enough
It’s important to note that in-person sports betting also had a three-week head start on mobile sports betting, but still bought in ten times less than online. However, as this picture is one reflected nationally, it was hardly a surprise.
As well as Circa Sports’ delayed debut for the online market, BetMGM was late to the retail party. This week, it will launch its sportsbook venue at the newly opened $250 million Sandy’s Racing and Gaming casino property, owned by Revolutionary Racing.
Tax revenue from the state’s sports betting industry will be allocated a problem gaming fund, as well as the state public pension deficit. Gross revenue for Kentucky sports betting is taxed 14.75% for online wagers and 9.75% for retail bets.
Each operator paid $500,000 for a license, which is overseen by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission.
“We are hearing very positive feedback from both our licensees and people wagering in Kentucky,” said Jonathan Rabinowitz, Kentucky Horse Racing Commission chairman.
“Thanks to the dedication and hard work of the team, this launch has exceeded our expectations,” he said. “Our work continues to protect the bettors in the state and support the best customer experience.”
Related: The best Kentucky online casinos, rated and reviewed