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Kentucky sports handle hits $1.36bn in opening six months

| By Robert Fletcher
Consumers in Kentucky spent $1.36bn (£1.10bn/€1.28bn) betting on sports during the first six months of legal online wagering in the Bluegrass State.
Kentucky sports betting

Kentucky began legal online betting on 28 September 2023, with the retail market opening just weeks earlier on 7 September. New figures published by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission cover the period to the end of February this year.

Of the total wagered on sports during this period, $1.30bn was bet online and $57.3m at retail sportsbooks. 

In terms of revenue, the entire regulated market generated $169.3m during the first six months. This includes $163.8m in online betting revenue and $5.6m from retail wagers.

Players won a total of $1.35bn from sports betting while the state collected $23.8m in tax.

FanDuel edges ahead in Kentucky online market

Looking at individual operators, FanDuel and partner Turfway Park led the way in the online sector. Total online betting revenue for the period hit $62.8m from $478.6m in wagers.

DraftKings, which is working with Cumberland Run, followed close behind with revenue of $61.1m. This was despite taking more bets – $499.0m – than long-time rival FanDuel.

Elsewhere, Bet365 and Sandy’s Racing and Gaming posted $15.4m in online revenue from $93.6m. BetMGM, another partner of Sandy’s, reported $6.6m off a $56.6m handle.

Caesars and Red Mile generated $8.9m in revenue from $81.6m in total bets. ESPN Bet, with partner Ellis Park, posted $7.2m off $65.3m. Fanatics and Oak Grove rounded off the online market with $1.9m in revenue and a $25.2m handle.

As for the retail market, Caesars and Red Mile took top spot with revenue of $3.2m from a $19.3m handle. Churchill Downs and Kambi placed second with $1.2m from $20.2m, then Turfway Park, another Kambi retail partner, with $451,185 off $8.8m.

February sports betting handle nears $210.0m 

Looking at the most recently reported month, total spend for February reached $208.4m. Of this, $198.6m was bet online and $9.8m retail. 

Overall market revenue totalled $28.5m, including $20.8m in online revenue and $722,390 from retail.

DraftKings and Cumberland run led the online market with revenue of $8.3m from $78.9m in bets. FanDuel and Turfway Park placed second with $7.7m from $66.0m.

Turning to retail, Caesars and Red Mile were the clear market leaders with $749,423 worth of revenue and a $3.4m handle. Churchill Downs and Kambi were a distant second with $61,977 from $3.2m.

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