Kentucky Sports Bettors Wager $17 Million on Super Bowl

Kentucky Sports Bettors Wager $17 Million on Super Bowl
Fact Checked by Michael Peters

The first Super Bowl for the legal sports betting market in the Bluegrass State drew more than a million wagers, according to data from the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission.

Those wagers came from more than 200,000 individuals, who either did so online through one of the seven active, licensed Kentucky sports betting apps or at a sportsbook at a racetrack or historical horse racing gaming hall.

“The total amount wagered on the event in Kentucky is estimated to be over $17 million,” Ricki Gardenhire, the information officer for the state’s Public Protection Cabinet, told on Wednesday.

Those figures represent all Super Bowl wagers in the state since the first bets were placed in the Commonwealth in September. The KHRC did not disclose how much revenue operators made from the game, which saw the Kansas City Chiefs rally to win their second consecutive title by beating the San Francisco 49ers 25-22 in overtime. The Chiefs took the field as 2-point underdogs in national Super Bowl odds.

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Little Local Rooting Interest

The preliminary handle for Kentucky Super Bowl wagering ended up being less than half of what Eilers & Krejcik Gaming predicted for the state. In its Super Bowl forecast, the gaming industry consulting firm estimated a handle of nearly $38.6 million for the state. That was a comparable forecast to Michigan, a state with more than twice the population and a sports betting market that has been active for more than three years.

There are a couple reasons why the Kentucky sports betting handle may not have come close to projections, with the Super Bowl matchup likely playing a factor. While there are several NFL teams with diehard fanbases in Kentucky, none of the bigger ones were involved in the championship game.

A Super Bowl featuring the Cincinnati Bengals, Indianapolis Colts or Tennessee Titans would definitely have generated more interest. The same could be said about the Baltimore Ravens, who fell to the Chiefs in the AFC Championship since many Louisville fans follow the team because of Lamar Jackson.

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March Madness Next

The next big event to watch in Kentucky will be the NCAA men’s and women’s basketball tournaments, which will start next month. At Fanatics Sportsbook Kentucky, the Kentucky Wildcats men’s national championship odds are +1800.

On the women’s side, the Louisville Cardinals have odds of +10000 at FanDuel Kentucky to win the program’s first title. While they’re considered a longshot, the Cards’ odds are still the 15th shortest on the Flutter Entertainment brand’s futures board.

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Steve is an accomplished, award-winning reporter with more than 20 years of experience covering gaming, sports, politics and business. He has written for the Associated Press, Reuters, The Louisville Courier Journal, The Center Square and numerous other publications. Based in Louisville, Ky., Steve has covered the expansion of sports betting in the U.S. and other gaming matters.

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