Kentucky Market Size Could Reach Almost 700K Sports Bettors: Survey

In a Gaming Today survey, 13% of Kentuckians said they already bet on sports, even though the industry hasn’t launched yet.

Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia, and Tennessee all share borders with Kentucky and offer legal wagering. Traveling to these states is likely one way Kentucky residents already bet on sports. Some respondents may have also confused daily fantasy sports with traditional sports betting. And, of course, some may be using unregulated offshore sites.

That number (13%) is below the national average, indicating Kentucky will generate new bettors once sports betting launches.

Kentucky sports betting is set to go live next month. Retail sportsbooks can start accepting wagers on Sept. 7, and online sports betting can start on Sept. 28.

About 667,000 Kentuckians Will Participate in Sports Betting

According to a Pew Research poll from last September, 19% of Americans have bet on sports in some fashion.

Those figures are slightly larger than the 13% in the Gaming Today survey. Thus, more Kentuckians will likely start sports betting once their home state’s industry is operational.

Kentucky’s population is roughly 4.5 million. According to the latest data from the US Census Bureau, about 22% of those residents aren’t of legal betting age. Consequently, Kentucky’s adult population is about 3.51 million.

If 19% of the state participates in the sports betting industry, about 667,000 Kentuckians will be wagering on sports.

Most ‘New’ Bettors Likely to Come From Central Kentucky

Until this most recent gaming expansion, horse racing was the only sport Kentucky residents were allowed to bet on.

Most of those tracks are located in cities near the Kentucky border.

For example, Louisville and Henderson are short drives away from Indiana. Additionally, Florence is just outside Cincinnati, and Franklin is a stone’s throw away from Tennessee.

Lexington is one of Kentucky’s largest cities and is more than an hour away from the border in any direction. It’s also home to Keeneland, one of the largest horse tracks in the state.

Therefore, the gamblers in Central Kentucky are the least exposed to sports betting and the most likely area for “growth.”

About the Author
Steve Schult

Steve Schult

Sports Betting Writer
Steve Schult is a veteran of the gambling industry with more than a decade of experience covering the space. After earning his journalism degree from Marist College, the New York native began covering high-stakes poker tournaments and the U.S. gambling industry for various outlets. Following stints as a writer for Card Player Media, Bluff Magazine, and the World Series of Poker, Schult joined Catena Media and has managed coverage for a handful of states.

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