Over $650M Gambled Since KY Sports Betting Launch, Says Gov. Beshear

Written By Katarina Vojvodic on December 11, 2023
Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear Smiles

Gov. Andy Beshear says more than $656 million has been wagered since the September launch of sports betting in Kentucky.

As a result, the Bluegrass State has brought in nearly $8 million in tax money so far.

Beshear made the announcement in his weekly news conference last week, but the public is still waiting for an official revenue state report with total sports betting numbers. Detailed monthly reports from the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) should drop this week.

Kentucky’s retail locations opened at racetracks and historical horse racing gaming halls starting Sept. 7. Three weeks later, seven Kentucky betting app operators launched in the state on Sept. 28.

Kentucky sports betting had ‘an incredible’ start

As mentioned, Kentucky players gambled $656 million in the state’s first two months of legal sports betting. Of that number:

  • More than $26.8 million was gambled in person at the state’s licensed retail sportsbooks
  • More than $629.5 million gambled through seven online sportsbooks

Each week, players wagered an average of $65.2 million. Beshear said in Kentucky’s official news release:

“Folks, this is an incredible start, and if this trend holds true, we will significantly exceed the $23 million in projected revenue from sports wagering.”

The officials said tax money will primarily address the state’s public pension shortfalls. Some funding will also support the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, which supervises sports betting and responsible gaming education and promotion.

Kentucky now joins seven of its neighboring legal sports betting states. According to News 5 Today, Beshear said:

“Remember, before we legalized sports betting, this money was going to other states or the betting was done illegally…Now, thanks to our efforts, these dollars will stay right here in Kentucky.”

Las Vegas’ Circa Sports is coming to Kentucky

Las Vegas-based Circa Sports was the latest operator to sign an agreement to enter the Kentucky sports betting market. Circa Sports signed a licensing agreement with ECL Corbin, LLC, at its Cumberland Run harness track and plans to launch an online sportsbook by the end of this year.

Once it does, Circa will join the following online sports betting apps that are already live in Kentucky:

  1. Barstool Sportsbook/ESPN BET
  2. Bet365
  3. BetMGM
  4. Caesars
  5. DraftKings
  6. Fanatics Sportsbook
  7. FanDuel

All operators must pay $50,000 for a Kentucky license and $10,000 for an annual renewal.

Tracks can partner with up to three online app providers and must pay $500,000 for their license and $50,000 every year.

Photo by Timothy D. Easley / AP Photo
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Katarina Vojvodic

Katarina Vojvodic is a lead writer for PlayUSA who lives in Toronto. Vojvodic provides coverage of the US gambling industry with a focus on US online casinos. Previously, she covered Ontario’s online gambling industry for PlayCanada.com. Vojvodic holds a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Belgrade. Outside working hours, she can be found near the water with her husband and their two kids.

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