Mobile Devices Increase Sports Betting Handle in Kentucky Weeks after Launch

Posted on: October 25, 2023, 12:21h. 

Last updated on: October 25, 2023, 02:23h.

Nearly $250 million has been wagered in Kentucky since sports betting launched a little more than 10 weeks ago. That’s according to Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear (D).

Kentucky sports betting problem gambling
Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear poses for a photo after placing a $20 bet at Churchill Downs, home of the Kentucky Derby, on Sept. 7, 2023. Problem gambling experts in the state say they need more counselors and therapists trained in combating betting addiction. (Image: AP)

Legalized sports betting began September 7 in the Bluegrass State. The bulk of the sports betting handle came in the last three weeks when sports wagering through mobile devices began. About $232 million has been wagered through mobile devices since September 28.

In a statement, Beshear called sports betting a “win-win” and added that Kentuckians have opened nearly 50K betting accounts.

Kentucky is approaching $250 million wagered. That is a strong number that certainly reflects excitement for the opening of sports wagering.” said Beshear. “It has taken many years to get here, but sports wagering is finally a reality in Kentucky.”

“Win-win” is a phrase often used by Beshear as the Democratic incumbent looks to election day next month. The legalization of sports wagering has been his key pitch to voters, as reported in

Gov. Beshear helped kick off sports betting in Kentucky with his own wager on September 7.

New Retail Racing and Gaming Center

Ashland, Ky., is the site of a new gaming and entertainment center opening. Sandy’s Racing and Gaming begins operations on October 26. Revolutionary Racing Put $75 million into the center, expected to generate $11 million in annual state tax revenues and produce 250 new jobs.

Since the September 7 launch of sports betting, an estimated $15.7 million has been wagered in the state’s licensed retail sportsbooks, far less than the $232 million wagered through mobile devices.

The Ashland location in Eastern Kentucky will also feature an equestrian center and quarter-horse race track. Construction is expected to be completed in 2025.

Kentucky’s Sports Betting Age

When Kentucky kicked off sports betting last month, it became the largest market to allow 18-year-olds to wager.

All but five states require residents to be at least 21 years old to participate. Montana, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Washington, and now Kentucky have an 18-year age limit. The age limit and the expansion of gambling is raising concerns among responsible gaming advocates, as reported by

Large Universities in the Bluegrass state add to those concerns, with the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville combining for an undergrad population of roughly 40K, with many of those students under the age of 21.

The National Council on Problem Gambling doesn’t recommend a standard sports betting age limit. However, the group applauds sports books with a 21-year-old rule.

Earlier this year, responsible gaming concerns prompted sportsbooks and schools across the US to end numerous partnerships.