Which Sportsbooks Are Kentucky Residents Clamoring For?

Which Sportsbooks Are Kentucky Residents Clamoring For?
Fact Checked by Nate Hamilton

Legal sports betting in Kentucky starts in less than three weeks, and we’ll know on Tuesday the first operators approved to take wagers in the Bluegrass State in September.

Approved brick-and-mortar sportsbooks will be able to take wagers starting on Sept. 7. Online operators will start accepting bets on Sept. 28, but may start the pre-registration process as soon as Aug. 28.

With that in mind, BetKentucky.com wanted to know what sportsbooks Kentuckians wanted the most. Utilizing Google searches of each sportsbook over the last 12 months (August 2022-August 2023), we gathered data for each sportsbook.  

Sportsbooks That Kentuckians Are Looking Forward To Most

Below you'll find which sportsbooks Kentuckians looking forward to most. Many of them are some of the best Kentucky sports betting apps that will have a presence in the Bluegrass state.

Rank Sportsbook Average Monthly Searches (over last 12 months)
1 DraftKings9,310
2 FanDuel 7,430
3 BetMGM 4,150
4 Bet365 3,290
5 Caesars 2,680
6 Penn National Gaming 2,500
7 BetRivers1,790
8 Tipico1,630
9 PointsBet1,590

The Sportsbooks Expected To Operate In Kentucky

It should come as no surprise that the top searches are for DraftKings and FanDuel. Those two are the top operators in most U.S. markets, including Indiana and Ohio, two neighboring states where thousands of Kentuckians already have registered for accounts. Both were among the first seven operators to apply for licenses and await approval from the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission. The Google search data also backs up a survey BetKentucky.com commissioned last month that found DraftKings Kentucky sportsbook and FanDuel were the two sportsbooks Kentuckians were mostly likely to register with once allowed.

BetMGM came in a respectable third. Like the top two, the joint venture between MGM Resorts International and Entain is licensed in all six sports betting states surrounding Kentucky. Sandy’s Racing and Gaming, which is building a quarter horse track and historical horse racing venue in Ashland, will be BetMGM’s partner in the state, and BetMGM Kentucky sportsbook will offer both retail and online sports betting if approved by the KHRC.

No. 4 Bet365 is only available in five states right now, including Ohio and Virginia. However, the British-based operator has its eye on growing in the U.S. and has applied for an online license in Kentucky. It advertises heavily during Cincinnati Reds games, which many Kentuckians watch. Bet365 has also spent $53.8 million on promos during the first six months in Ohio, a total only exceeded by FanDuel and DraftKings. Will they do the same in Kentucky?

Caesars Kentucky Sportsbook, which came in fifth, was the first to announce its Kentucky plans. It will have a retail sportsbook at the Red Mile in Lexington and a statewide mobile app if approved. Caesars is a well-known brand in the area as the Las Vegas-based company built a casino in Elizabeth, Ind., a short drive from Louisville. The company sold that casino to EBCI Holdings but retains the Caesars Southern Indiana name.

Penn Interactive finished sixth, according to our research. The company is in the process of rebranding its sportsbook from Barstool Sports to ESPN BET. That’s expected to be finalized by mid-November. Penn has applied for a Kentucky license, but it remains to be seen, if approved, whether Penn will wait to launch here until after the conversion is finalized.

One company that did not make the list but has applied here was Circa Sports. The Las Vegas-based operator is only in Colorado, Iowa and Nevada, with plans to launch soon in Illinois. Circa operates differently from many others in the sports betting business and, if approved by the KHRC, may attract those seeking more of an old-school type of sportsbook.

Sportsbooks That Have Not Applied But Kentuckians Want

The bottom three that made the list have not applied for licenses in Kentucky, according to the list that has been made public.

BetRivers has a presence in five states surrounding Kentucky. It’s possible the Rush Street Interactive product may seek a sports betting license here. However, BetKentucky believes the company’s focus is on states where it's already established and states more likely to legalize online casinos, also known as iGaming.

Tipico is a German-based brand that’s available in just three states. One of those is Ohio. BetKentucky has learned the operator is interested in Kentucky but would not likely be among the first wave to enter the market. It’s one to keep an eye on.

PointsBet is currently licensed in five states surrounding Kentucky, but the Australian-based operator is in the process of selling its U.S. operation to Fanatics, the online retailer that just fully launched its own sportsbook in four states, including Ohio and Tennessee. Given Fanatics’ plans for sports betting, Kentucky would likely be a target state. Fanatics, though, may wait until the $225 million PointsBet deal closes before entering new states.

Keep visiting BetKentucky.com for the latest news on sports betting and the best Kentucky sportsbook promos.



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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