Kentucky accepted $855M in wagers in 2023, generating $106M in revenue

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Image: Shutterstock / Ken Wolter

The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission released betting information for November and December of 2023, giving a picture of how the year ended for the new sports betting state.

Through slightly more than three months of online and retail sports wagering, the state’s sportsbooks accepted $855 million in wagers, generated $106 million in adjusted gross revenue and more than $15 million in tax revenue for the state.

While the three months captured the peak football months, the tax revenue is already more than two-thirds of the $23 million projected for the first year, suggesting the interest in sports betting in the Bluegrass State exceeded expectations.

The vast majority of handle and revenue came from DraftKings and FanDuel. The performance of the two operators was nearly identical, with each posting $327 million in handle and a little over $39 million in revenue. While the first revenue report from the state did note promotional credit, the new report does not include that financial information.

Bet365 was the next-best performer in the state and has also posted the strongest hold so far. The app took in almost $66 million in wagers and $12.5 million in revenue for a hold rate of almost 19%.

The next tier of operators were Caesars, BetMGM and ESPN Bet, all of which generated between $36-$43 million in handle. Fanatics trailed the field, bringing up the rear with $15.7 million in handle.

After October had a peak of $279 million in bets, handle in Kentucky actually declined from October to November and again from November to December. November bets amounted to $272.5 million and then December bets dipped to $255.3 million.

Ohio experienced a similar debut at the start of 2023, opening up with over a billion in handle, inflated heavily by promotional credit before dropping off in the second month of operation.