Operators report $208M February sports betting handle in Kentucky

Kentucky Sports Betting February
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Kentucky’s sports betting market reported lukewarm February results.

According to data provided by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC), the Bluegrass State reported a total handle of $208.3 million in February, down from $257.1 million for the month prior. Kentucky, which is home to eight online operators, reported a mobile handle of $198.5 million in February led by Cumberland Run partner DraftKings. It reported a $79.2 million handle in February compared to $92.9 million in January.

FanDuel, which partners with Churchill Downs’ Turfway Park, closed February with the second-highest handle in Kentucky at $67.8 million, down from $86.4 million in January.

Caesars Sportsbook rounded out the top three for handle in the state with $20.3 million in accepted wagers in February compared to a $26.4 million handle the month prior.

Emerging operators in Kentucky

Kentucky went live with online sports wagering in September 2023 and has since seen emerging operators take advantage of the newly established market.

Bet365, which is steadily bolstering its reach throughout the U.S., reported the fourth-highest handle in February at $13.1 million compared to $14.7 million for the month prior.

The British operator’s results in February surpassed BetMGM. The Entain and MGM Resorts joint venture posted a $9.3 million handle in February, down 19% month-over-month.

ESPN Bet, which rebranded from Barstool Sportsbook last November, accepted $9.9 million in wagers in February, a significant drop from its $15.7 million handle in January. Oak Grove partner Fanatics Sportsbook saw its handle reach $4.4 million in February, slightly down from the $4.9 million in wagers the operator accepted the month prior.

Kentucky has also welcomed a new operator to its market with Circa Sports launching operations in the state earlier this month. Circa is now live with online sports wagering in five U.S. jurisdictions, which include Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, and Nevada.

Bluegrass State reports slowing profits

February saw Kentucky’s sportsbooks report slow profits compared to January. The Bluegrass State generated $21.4 million in adjusted gross revenue in February, which resulted in $3 million in taxes being paid to the state. By comparison, Kentucky posted $38.2 million in adjusted gross revenue in January and $5.3 million in taxes paid.

Potential changes in Kentucky

The state has released its latest sports betting data as regulatory changes are proposed.

Last month, the Kentucky legislature approved a reorganization of the KHRC to recategorize the regulator as the Kentucky Horse Racing and Gaming Corporation.

The reorganization, established under Senate Bill 299, also requires Senate approval for appointments to the commission. Current law provides Gov. Andy Beshear with uncontested control over appointments. SB 299 has been passed and signed by Kentucky’s Speaker of the House. The measure has been delivered to Secretary of State Michael G. Adams for his consideration.