Kentucky Sports Betting Revenues Surpassing Projections

Date Published: December 9, 2023

Last updated on: December 9, 2023

The Kentucky sports betting scene is thriving and off to a great start. Governor Andy Beshear was quick to sign the sports betting bill, and since then, the state’s sports betting market has seen a significant level of interest from sports enthusiasts, most notably after the introduction of online wagering.

Kentucky sports betting Andy Beshear
Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear places a sports bet at Churchill Downs with assistance from the track’s President Mike Anderson on Sept. 7, 2023. Beshear says Kentucky sports betting is off to a great start. (Image: Louisville Courier Journal)

The state’s initial major expansion of gambling in decades finally commenced on September 7, following the passage of a sports betting bill by Gov. Andy Beshear. Kentucky sportsbook licenses are available for $500,000, with a 9.75% tax rate on in-person bets and a 14.25% rate on online wagers.

Sports Betting Debut

Kentuckians aged 18 and older can place bets in person at 13 retail locations and online through seven different platforms. According to the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC), most of the state’s sports bets are being placed online.

Since the start of sports betting in Kentucky, more than $656 million in bets have been reported, with a majority of the amount wagered online.

Countering Critics

Despite concerns among conservative lawmakers about the expansion of gambling, Gov. Beshear noted that much of the state’s sports bets were already being placed illegally or in neighboring states.

David Walls, executive director of The Family Foundation of Kentucky, however, expressed that the expansion of gambling is a “predatory” industry with a potentially negative impact on the population.

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