Gov. Beshear: Nearly $250 Million Wagered Since Sports Betting Opened in Kentucky

Sports wagering off to a strong start

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Oct. 23, 2023) – Today, Gov. Andy Beshear announced preliminary sports wagering numbers indicate that nearly $250 million has been wagered in Kentucky and nearly 500,000 wagering accounts have been created with mobile applications since launch.

On Thursday, Sept. 7, wagering opened at in-person retail sportsbooks, and since that date, it is estimated that more than $15.7 million has been wagered at the state’s licensed retail sportsbooks. Wagering via mobile devices opened Thursday, Sept. 28, and since that date, more than $232.3 million has been wagered through mobile devices.

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

Soon, bettors will have an additional retail sportsbook for in-person wagering with the grand opening of Sandy’s Gaming and Racing in Ashland. Gov. Beshear plans to be at Sandy’s on Thursday, Oct. 26, when it celebrates the grand opening of its retail sportsbook.

“We are hearing very positive feedback from both our licensees and people wagering in Kentucky,” said Kentucky Horse Racing Commission Chairman Jonathan Rabinowitz. “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.”

Kentucky chose a tiered implementation, which has been used in multiple states and allowed for the testing of policies and procedures throughout implementation.

Today’s news is the latest in a string of sports betting announcements by Gov. Beshear.

On Aug. 15 and 18, Gov. Beshear signed executive orders 2023-480 and 2023-483 appointing members of the Sports Wagering Advisory Council. The council advises the full commission and provides additional voices who have knowledge of the sports betting industry.

On Aug. 17, Gov. Beshear announced a timeline for sports wagering to open in Kentucky.

On Aug. 22, the KHRC voted to approve temporary licenses for seven operators and nine service providers. The details of those approved for licensure and their business relationships are available here. A list of licensed retail sportsbooks is available here. Some retail locations and mobile applications are coming soon.

On Aug. 31, the Sports Wagering Advisory Council recommended an initial catalog of sporting events for wagering in Kentucky.

On Sept. 7, Gov. Beshear placed the first sports bet at Churchill Downs. He placed a $20 parlay bet for the “over” on wins for the University of Kentucky and University of Louisville football teams, and the “under” on Duke University’s football team.

On Sept. 21, the Wagering Catalog was updated to include Formula 1 Racing, NRL (National Rugby League Australia), PFL (Professional Fighters League - MMA), Bellator (MMA) and Universal Tennis League. Ultimately, it is up to the providers if they want to offer these for wagering.

House Bill 551 established a new excise tax on sports wagering: 9.75% on the adjusted gross revenues on wagers made at a licensed facility and 14.25% on wagers placed online or on a smartphone.

Sports wagering is expected to increase the state’s revenue by an estimated $23 million a year upon full implementation. The increase in revenue will support the oversight of sports wagering and then be dedicated to the Kentucky permanent pension fund.

Additionally, 2.5% will support the Problem Gambling Assistance Fund. The fund educates Kentuckians on safe gambling practices, the risks of developing a gambling problem, risk factors and warning signs of gambling problems and available services to reduce the consequences of problem gambling.

Resources are available by calling or texting 800-GAMBLER (800-426-2537), visiting or emailing