(The Center Square) – Kentuckians wagered nearly $250 million and opened nearly 500,000 betting accounts in a little more than 10 weeks since legalized sports gambling began in the Bluegrass State.
The bulk of the handle, according to a release from Gov. Andy Beshear, came in the past three weeks when wagering through mobile devices began. Since Sept. 28, $232 million has been wagered through mobile devices.
Since Sept. 7, the first day of the launch, $15.7 million has been wagered at in-person retail sportsbooks. A new gaming and racing facility is expected to open in Ashland on Thursday.
“Kentucky is approaching $250 million wagered. That is a strong number that certainly reflects excitement for the opening of sports wagering,” Beshear said in a statement. “It has taken many years to get here, but sports wagering is finally a reality in Kentucky. This is a win-win for Kentuckians, who can enjoy a quality entertainment experience and benefit from funds staying right here in our state to help us build a better Kentucky.”
Kentucky used tiered implementation, which has been used in multiple states and allowed for testing policies and procedures throughout implementation.
“We are hearing very positive feedback from both our licensees and people wagering in Kentucky,” said Kentucky Horse Racing Commission Chairman Jonathan Rabinowitz. “Thanks to the dedication and hard work of the team, this launch has exceeded our expectations. Our work continues to protect the bettors in the state and support the best customer experience.”
State officials believe sports wagering will increase state revenue by $23 million annually when fully implemented. Most of the money will be used to oversee sports gambling and then go to the Kentucky permanent pension fund.
Another 2.5% will go to the Problem Gambling Assistance Fund.