Kentucky Sees $4.5M Wagered on Sports Betting in First Two Weeks

“This is a strong number that certainly reflects the excitement Kentuckians have for the opening of sports wagering.”

Last Updated: Sep 22, 2023 12:17 PM ET Read Time: 4 min
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A new legal sports betting market is off to a strong start.

Kentucky, which authorized retail sports betting on September 7, has reported a more than $4.5 million betting handle for the first two weekends of wagering, according to Gov. Andy Beshear.

“This is a strong number that certainly reflects the excitement Kentuckians have for the opening of sports wagering,” said Gov. Beshear. “With college football and the NFL season underway, plus the launch of mobile wagering, we expect that number will grow significantly.”

In March, Gov. Beshear signed House Bill 551, which legalized both retail wagering and online betting sites in the Bluegrass State. Since then, Kentucky has drawn the interest of major sportsbooks including bet365, DraftKings, FanDuel, PENN Interactive, BetMGM, and others.

Racetracks across the state are also looking to take advantage of the new revenue stream. The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission received applications for sports betting licenses from racetracks, including Turfway Park in Florence, the Red Mile in Lexington, and Churchill Downs in Louisville. The group also included two new racetracks: Sandy’s Gaming and Racing and Cumberland Run. All have been approved for retail and online licenses in the Bluegrass State.

Kentucky will begin offering online wagering on September 28. Online operators in the state are required to pay a $50,000 licensing fee and an annual $10,000 renewal fee once approved.

Online sportsbooks in the state are also poised for strong results. Kentucky has already seen more than 60,000 online player accounts pre-registered ahead of the launch of online wagering.

Users of the state’s sportsbooks will have plenty of options for betting. Earlier this month, the Kentucky Sports Wagering Advisory Council approved the addition of Formula 1, the National Rugby League of Australia and New Zealand, the Professional Fighters League, and Bellator mixed martial arts organizations, and the UTR Pro Tennis Tour to the state’s betting catalog.

Kentuckians will also have betting markets for the NBA, MLB, NFL, and other major leagues.

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