Circa Sports Launches Sportsbook Operations in Kentucky

Circa Sports has announced the launch of its sportsbook operations in Kentucky this week. Kentucky marks the fifth state for Circa’s online sportsbook. As of Monday, customers in Kentucky can sign up and start betting on Circa’s mobile app.

This is the second state that Circa Sports has launched in six months after releasing mobile betting operations in Illinois in September. Apart from these two states, Circa is available for sports betting in Colorado, Iowa, and Nevada.

Kentucky now has eight online sports betting operators: bet365, Caesars, DraftKings, FanDuel, ESPN BET, Fanatics, BetMGM, and now Circa Sports. Circa is the first new mobile sportsbook since the launch of online wagering in September last year.

Related Pages: Kentucky Sports Betting | Legal Sports Betting States | North Carolina Sports Betting

How Will Circa Approach Kentucky?

Circa Sports CEO Derek Stevens has already hinted that the approach to Kentucky will be different from the rest of the states considering it launched late last year. There are several factors to consider while offering sportsbook operations in a new market, such as betting appetite, presence of local sports teams and marketing spend potential.

“We will open our Circa Sports Kentucky mobile app first, and then we are going to build a retail sportsbook a bit further down the road. That’s going to happen towards the end of 2024. The retail book will be located right on the Kentucky-Tennessee border,” Stevens told Yogonet last year.

“We’re very excited about the growth potential. There’s going to be a tremendous amount of wagering action coming out of Kentucky because it’s such a hotbed of sports for baseball, for basketball, for football. Kentucky’s going to be a great state for wagering. It’s very early, but we have very high expectations for Kentucky.

“What we do differently than others is provide value to the wagering consumer,” Stevens told the Nevada Independent last year. “We don’t limit customers and we take big bets. We run our own model. You have to be really focused on sports because it’s an intensely competitive landscape.

“Sports betting can’t be like your eighth or ninth priority. It has to be a top priority for your business because this is an intensely competitive landscape. Obviously, sports is a key component of everything we do.”

How Has Kentucky Fared?

Kentucky is a new entrant to the sports betting space in the USA after launching towards the end of September last year. After launch, Kentucky has been consistent in betting handle and revenue. In Oct. 2023, Kentucky managed $296 million in betting handle before $281.5 million in November and $264 million in December.

In total, Kentucky collected $886.1 million in wagers in 2023 in just a little over four months of action. With a hold of over 12%, that was enough to take gaming revenue over $100 million with seven operators. That resulted in $15.6 million in tax receipts for the Bluegrass State in 2023.

However, the majority of the handle has been dominated by DraftKings and FanDuel. None of the other five operators in Kentucky were able to hit $20 million in handle in November or December last year. Across those two months, Fanatics was able to narrowly surpass $10 million in handle. Yet, there seems to be lots of promise in a state that came close to breaching $1 billion in handle in just a few months of betting action.

“People who visit Kentucky, who live in Kentucky, and who grew up in Kentucky – they’ve got sports wagering in their blood. It’s the home of Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Derby. Thoroughbred racing is inherent within the entire state,” Stevens said. “College basketball between the University of Kentucky and Louisville and Western Kentucky has been tremendous.

“This is a state that has gambling in its culture. We really think that Kentucky is going to be a preeminent state. Also, they’ve got a very good regulatory environment, so we think Kentucky’s going to be one of the lead states in the country on a per capita basis. All sports in the States have really seen good strength, from NHL to NBA and college basketball. American sports are really thriving at this point.”


About the Author
Nikhil Kalro

Nikhil Kalro

Nikhil Kalro covers the sports betting industry and revenue reporting at Gaming Today. Much of his work analyzes state revenue information, including betting activity and revenue for individual states and sportsbook operators. In addition, Nikhil provides news updates on the gambling industry itself, including product launches and legal issues. Nikhil’s previous experience includes five years with ESPN.

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