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Kentucky Sees Over $68 Million in Wagers in Four Days of Online Sports Betting

Written by: Michael Savio
Published October 9, 2023
6 min read
Kentucky Over 68 Million in Four Days of Online Sports Betting

The Bluegrass State kicked off online sports betting with a ban to close September. Governor Andy Beshear announced the state had seen over $68 million in wagers in the first four days since mobile sports betting went live on Thursday, September 28. While he did not share the breakdown between retail and online wagers, the Governor did hail the impressive number as a win for Kentucky.

"Kentuckians are taking advantage of legal wagering both in-person and through mobile applications to bet on a growing number of sports, including NFL, college sports, Formula 1 racing, and more," Beshear said of the industry’s early success. "Now we can look forward to watching these numbers grow and seeing the revenue it generates help build a better Kentucky.”

While the amount wagered, also known as the “handle,” is impressive, the amount the state will see is still unknown. Kentucky taxes retail sportsbooks at 9.25% and online ones at $14.25%. The state uses 2% of the sports betting tax revenue to support problem gambling resources, while the rest will head to the state’s pension fund. 

Kentucky is projecting to see around $22 million in tax revenue annually.

Kentucky Still Waiting on Launch of Two More Mobile Sportsbook

Kentucky’s online sports betting market will expand soon as the state awaits two more license operators to launch. ESPN Bet and Circa Sports were awarded licenses to operate in Kentucky, but they could not launch by September 28. 

Circa Sports is expected to launch first, but the hope is the ESPN Bet will also go live before the end of the year. Circa has an existing platform in other states, but ESPN Bet has yet to launch anywhere. The ESPN brand will take over for Barstool Sportsbook, which had its partnership with Penn Entertainment dissolved over the summer. 

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Michael Savio

477 Articles

Michael is an avid sports fan and a veteran bettor from Milwaukee. He learned the trade from his grandfather in Las Vegas as a kid and has turned that into a successful career. He cheers for all Wisconsin pro teams along with his Alma Mater Arizona State. He specializes in baseball betting, but has experience in football, basketball, and hockey as well. When he isn’t pouring over stats, he’s spending time with his two young children.

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