Sportsbooks will find a lot of customers waiting for their arrival when Kentucky Sports Betting finally launches next month.
BetKentucky commissioned a survey in late July to determine the level of interest among residents in the Bluegrass State, and we found there’s quite a bit.
After years of waiting, Kentucky sports bettors finally got the news they wanted in late March when the General Assembly passed House Bill 551 on the last day of the 2023 session. The state’s nine licensed racetracks can apply for licenses to operate brick-and-mortar sportsbooks at their facilities, and they can also partner with up to three online operators apiece.
Thanks to regulations passed by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission on July 10, retail sportsbooks can open across the state on Sept. 7 – just in time for the start of the National Football League season. Online operators will get the green light on Sept. 28.
How Many Expect To Bet And What Do They Want To Bet
The poll results show 42.3% consider themselves likely to bet on sports through licensed operators in Kentucky, including nearly 20% who say they are very likely to participate.
More than a third of those who responded, 35.5%, said they plan to bet at least once a month. That figure includes 6.3% who expect to bet daily and 17.4% who believe they’ll do it weekly. In addition, another 12.5% told BetKentucky they expect to bet several times a year.
Many of those people are already going to one of Kentucky’s six neighboring states to make bets. Nearly 30% told BetKentucky they have gone to Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia or West Virginia to wager.
Like in most states, Kentucky is excited to get in on some NFL betting action, but in a state known for its college sports, there are quite a few looking ahead to hoops season.
When asked which sport they were most looking forward to betting on, almost 17% said the NFL and another 8.5% said college basketball. The NBA will be the primary market for 7.5% of Kentucky poll participants.
As expected, respondents had a clear favorite for the team they’re going to back at the sportsbooks. Nearly 3-in-8, 37.1%, said the Kentucky Wildcats will be their team. No other team drew in the double digits, with the Louisville Cardinals next at 9.6%.
Besides sports, more than half of Kentucky bettors said they would like to bet on something else. More than 20% indicated they want to wager on reality shows, and a similar percentage, 19.3%, want to bet on award shows – which is available for wagering in Indiana. Another 16.4% would like to bet on political elections, which aren’t allowed anywhere in the U.S.
Big Four Sportsbooks Popular In Kentucky
The Kentucky sports betting law will allow as many as 27 operators to set up shop in the state. Fewer operators are expected to seek licensure, and while we await word on all the partnerships, most respondents already have their preferences. We looked into some of the top Kentucky sportsbook apps expected to hit the Bluegrass State when sports betting launches.
When it comes to Kentucky sportsbooks, more than two-thirds of potential sports bettors said they would likely sign up with Kentucky DraftKings sportsbook, and more than half expect to register with FanDuel, which will be a partner of Churchill Downs. Participants who said they would likely bet on sports were allowed to list multiple sportsbooks.
About The Survey:
YouGov Plc conducted the survey for BetKentucky. From July 19-25, it polled 962 Kentucky adults 18 and older. All figures have been weighted.
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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.