Sports Betting Booms in Kentucky: $250M Wagered & Counting

Kentucky’s sportsbooks witness a stunning $250 million in wagers with over half a million accounts, as mobile sports betting leads the way.
Sports Fans Cheering in the Stands at a Game. Sports Betting Booms in Kentucky: $250M Wagered & Counting
By
October 25, 2023

Kentucky is approaching $250 million wagered. That is a strong number that certainly reflects excitement for the opening of sports wagering. Kentucky sports betting fans have wagered nearly $250 million and created half a million wagering accounts since sports betting launched in the state last month.

That’s according to the office of Democratic Governor Andy Beshear, who’s now given three updates on how the vertical has been faring since retail sports betting kicked off on September 7 and mobile wagering launched exactly three weeks later.

“Kentucky is approaching $250 million wagered,” Beshear said Monday. “That is a strong number that certainly reflects excitement for the opening of sports wagering.

“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.”

Not surprisingly, most of the $250 million in wagers came from online sportsbooks. According to Beshear’s office, mobile betting has exceeded $232.3 million since mobile sports betting launched on September 28. More than $15.7 million in wagers were placed at retail sportsbooks since they opened on September 7.

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Thanks to the dedication and hard work of the team, this launch has exceeded our expectations. The retail numbers are set to improve. That’s because Sandy’s Racing and Gaming will open a retail BetMGM Sportsbook at its facility in Ashland on Thursday. Beshear’s office said the governor is planning to attend the grand opening. BetMGM and bet365 are the mobile partners at Sandy’s Racing and Gaming.

Beshear’s office also commented that Kentucky “chose a tiered implementation [for retail and mobile sports betting], which has been used in multiple states and allowed for the testing of policies and procedures throughout implementation.”

“We are hearing very positive feedback from both our licensees and people wagering in Kentucky,” said Jonathan Rabinowitz, the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) Chairman.

“Thanks to the dedication and hard work of the team, this launch has exceeded our expectations. Our work continues to protect the bettors in the state and support the best customer experience.”

KHRC has yet to release revenue information for the month of September but is expected to do so soon.

Beshear Gives Third Update Since Launch

Beshear provided his first update on how sports betting was faring in the Bluegrass State on September 28. At that point, more than $4.5 million had been wagered at in-person sportsbooks, and more than 60,000 wagering accounts had been created, according to the governor’s office.

One week later, the governor reported that more than $68 million had been wagered during the first four days of mobile sports betting. That figure included $66.5 million in online wagers and $1.7 million from in-person bets. Overall, wagers had exceeded the $10 million mark by that time.

While the number of wagering accounts has increased more than eight-fold, it’s important to remember that the number of accounts doesn’t necessarily mean that a half million users are placing wagers online. On the contrary, many players create accounts with different operators, so a precise number of how many people have placed wagers is hard to determine.

Beshear is up for re-election in November. He is in a tight race with Republican AG Daniel Cameron.

If you or someone you know has a gambling problem and wants help, call the Virginia Council on Problem Gambling (VACPG) helpline at 1-888-532-3500

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