Home > Sports betting > Kentucky online sports wagers reach $323.6m in opening weeks

Kentucky online sports wagers reach $323.6m in opening weeks

| By Robert Fletcher
Consumers in Kentucky spent $323.6m (£257.2m/€300.2m) betting on sports online during the opening weeks of the Bluegrass State’s newly regulated market.
Kentucky November

Kentucky launched legal online sports betting on 28 September. This followed the roll out of retail wagering on 7 September, with online delayed as part of a staggered launch.

The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) has now published figures for the opening weeks of the market. This data covers the final three days of September and the whole of October.

During this period, online bets amounted to $323.6m. This included $36.8m across the three days of September and $286.8m in October.

Adjusted gross revenue from online betting for the period reached $54.2m. Some $1.5m was generated in the final days of September, while revenue in October hit $52.7m.

FanDuel edges out DraftKings in Kentucky

Looking at individual operators, FanDuel led the way in the opening period. Partnered with Churchill Downs, FanDuel took $20.3m in revenue from $131.2m in wagers during the opening weeks in Kentucky.

Close behind was long-time rival DraftKings, which has a partnership with Cumberland Run and The Mint for online betting. DraftKings posted $19.5m in revenue from $124.9m in bets.

Bet365, partnered with Sandy’s Racing and Gaming, was next with revenue of $8.6m and a $31.2m handle. BetMGM, another Sandy’s partner, reported $2.7m in revenue from $14.7m in wagers.

Caesars and The Red Mile followed with $2.2m in revenue and a $14.0m handle. Next came Fanatics and the Oak Grove racetrack with revenue of $483,010 from $4.6m in bets. Penn Sports Interactive, operating as Barstool Sportsbook, completed the market with $381,749 in revenue and a $2.9m handle.

Each of Kentucky’s racetracks can partner with up to three online operators as well as offer on-site retail betting. Online operators must partner with one of these venues in order to launch in the state.

Kentucky retail revenue reaches $2.1m

Turning to retail, which has been active longer than online, total revenue for the opening period from 8 September to 31 October was $2.2m. This includes $1.1m in both September and October.

Retail handle for the period reached $17.1m. Some $9.1m was wagered in September and $8.1m in October.

Red Mile claimed the retail top spot with $966,631 in revenue from a handle of $6.8m. The Churchill Downs Racetrack followed with revenue of $637,631 from $5.9m, then Turfway Park on $248,918 off $2.3m.

Total market revenue surpasses $56.0m

Looking at the market as a whole, total sports betting revenue in the opening weeks hit $56.4m. This includes $2.6m in September and $53.8m in October, with the latter boosted by the launch of online betting.

As for handle, combined online and retail spend for the period reached $340.8m. Of this total, $45.8m was spent in September and $295.0m October. 

Churchill Downs opens Derby City Gaming Downtown in Kentucky

Publication of the figures comes after Churchill Downs Incorporated (CDI) last week opened its new $90.0m Derby City Gaming Downtown historical racing machine (HRM) venue in Kentucky.

The facility, CDI’s sixth in the state, has a Kentucky Derby theme and houses 500 HRMs. The CDI venue also features three food and beverage amenities, 130 parking spaces and an exterior 3D video board.

CDI said the project generated 400 construction jobs and resulted in over 150 permanent jobs at the venue.

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