Kentucky Hits Nearly $250 Million Sports Betting Handle Since September 7 Launch

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Kentucky governor Andy Beshear revealed on 23 October 2023 preliminary data on the sports wagering handle in the state since the September 7 launch. As reported, Beshear announced that almost $250 million has been wagered in Kentucky for only 45 days of retail sports betting operations, with around 500,000 mobile wagering accounts created since online betting kicked off on September 28.

$250 Million Handle Since September 7, 2023:

As reported by WBKO, the long-expected September 7 launch of retail sports betting generated an estimate of more than $15.7 million in wagers across the state. The launch of online sports books followed on September 28 to reportedly generate a handle of over $232.3 million through mobile devices for less than a month of operation. Therefore retail and mobile sports books combined hit the handle of almost $250 million for 25 days of joint operations or around $9.5 million a day.

Beshear reportedly commented: “Kentucky is approaching $250 million wagered. That is a strong number that certainly reflects excitement for the opening of sports wagering. 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.”

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The Launch Exceeds Expectations:

As WBKO reports, Sandy’s Gaming and Racing will open a retail sports book in Ashland on 26 October 2023. The grand opening of the in-person wagering facility to be attended by the governor and city officials testifies about the accelerating gaming operations in the state. Kentucky Horse Racing Commission Chairman Jonathan Rabinowitz reportedly said: “We are hearing very positive feedback from both our licensees and people wagering in Kentucky. Thanks to the dedication and hard work of the team, this launch has exceeded our expectations. Our work continues to protect the bettors in the state and support the best customer experience.”

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The state of Kentucky followed the example of some other states to gradually introduce legal sports wagering. Such a tiered implementation allowed to have the policies and procedures tested by competent authorities at each stage of the implementation process. The House passed the Bill 551 to set the sports wagering tax at 9.75% for the licensed in-person betting facilities and 14.25% for online and mobile wagering operations.

$23 Million in Annual Tax Revenues Expected:

WBKO reports that the state officials expect that sports wagering will generate around $23 million a year in tax revenues once sports betting processes and procedures are fully implemented. The increased state’s revenues will be used to supervise sports wagering operations and will be distributed to the Kentucky pension fund. Also, 2.5% of the tax proceeds will be dedicated to the Problem Gambling Assistance Fund.

Bearing in mind the figure reached for the first 45 days of retail sports books and 25 days of mobile sports betting in the state, the Kentucky sports wagering industry might hit almost $3 billion handle already in the first 12 months of operations to fully meet or even exceed the tax revenue expectations.

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