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Kentucky Surpasses $250 Million Sports Betting Handle

Written by: Michael Savio
Published October 25, 2023
6 min read
Kentucky Surpasses 250 Million Sports Betting Handle

Kentucky has kicked off legal sports betting in a big way. Governor Andy Beshear announced this week that the state had seen over $250 million in wagers, known as the “handle”.

It’s an impressive mark, given that sports betting launched in the Bluegrass State last month. Retail sports betting went live on September 7, which generated a $4.5 million handle before mobile betting began on September 28. 

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

Online sports betting led the way with a $232.3 million handle in less than one month. 

Kentucky Capitalizes on Football Season

Kentucky worked hard to ensure sports betting launched in time for the college football and NFL seasons. Football betting is by far the most popular option in the US, making it the most profitable time of year for sportsbooks

While Kentucky is known for its diehard college basketball fandom, the NFL and college football have large fanbases. The state does not have an NFL team, but they have two Division 1 football teams in Louisville and the University of Kentucky. While Louisville is having far more success, Kentucky has been attracting far more bets.

Circa Sports and ESPN Bet Coming Soon

Mobile sports betting launched last month, but two licensed operators have yet to go live. One is Circa Sportsbook, which will soon add Kentucky as its fifth state. The Vegas-based sportsbook is a mobile version of their legendary retail location. Circa has impressed users in the four states they have been operating in, and it could make a big splash once it becomes available in Kentucky.

ESPN Bet, which Penn Interactive owns, is set to launch next month. The new sportsbook will replace Barstool, who severed their partnership with Penn earlier this year. We have yet to see the ESPN Bet platform, but the media giant is expected to become a top option for bettors in the US quickly. 

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Michael Savio

485 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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