Sports Betting Industry News

Kentucky Sports Betting Off to Strong Start

The state of Kentucky joined the sports betting industry back in September, and we finally have the first update in terms of the numbers. It is the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission that controls the industry in the state, and it announced totals for September and October. 

The combined sports betting handle for the first two months was $340.8 million, and a majority of those wagers came in October. Online sports betting in the state didn’t officially start until September 28th, but it was clearly popular during the first full month. 

There are several numbers that matter to sportsbooks and states, and the hold rate is one of those numbers. Kentucky sportsbooks won a whopping 18.5% of the wagers during the month of October, and that’s more than double the national average. 

Bettors in the state of Kentucky were more than ready for this new industry to launch, and the process took much longer than expected. Launching in September was also a smart move as it allowed sportsbooks to accept wagers on football games. 

No Surprise in the Leaders

The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission approved seven mobile operators for launch, and more are on the way in the future. While all of the operators appeared to have some success, it was DraftKings and FanDuel that led the way. 

FanDuel Sportsbook handed out over $42 million in promotional credits for the month, which was easily the most in the state. DraftKings is another operator that entices new business with bonuses, but it’s promo spend was just $27 million in October. 

The adjusted gross revenue for FanDuel came in at $20.2 million, while DraftKings was only about $1 million behind them. As time goes on, those two operators are expected to create an even bigger gap between them and the other options. 

One minor surprise in the numbers was that bet365 checked in at third place in both handle and revenue. That operator has been extremely aggressive in recent months, and it wanted to get off to a great start in Kentucky. 

Red Mile Gaming and Racing actually took in the most retail wagers for the first two months, but the total was still sitting at just $6.8 million. Churchill Downs is one of the most historic racing tracks in the world, and $5.9 million was wagered at that location. 

National Numbers Now Complete

Arizona is still yet to announce October sports betting numbers, but all of the reports from September are now in. There was more than $11.6 billion wagered throughout the country during the month of September and that is easily a record when it comes to this industry. 

Gross revenue for sportsbooks in the month of September came in at over $1.06 billion, and that is without any report from the state of Tennessee. That state is no longer announcing gross revenue totals, but it should have been enough to allow the industry to set a mark in that category as well. 

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