Andy Beshear, the governor of Kentucky has said that close to $250m (£204.0m/€234.8m) has been wagered in the state since sports betting went live.

Beshear made the comment on X, formerly known as Twitter.

“Nearly $250 million has been wagered in Kentucky since sports betting went live,” Beshear wrote. “It took many years and a lot of hard work to get here, but we got it done!

“And now those dollars are staying in our commonwealth to make this a better place to call home for all our families.”

Kentucky’s sports betting market opened in two parts. Retail sports betting opened on 7 September, followed by online sports betting on 28 September.

Long road to sports betting success

The journey to a legal sports wagering market in Kentucky has been long and winding. Beshear authorised sports betting in the Bluegrass state with the signing of House Bill 551 in April this year.

The bill approved nine racetracks to be operational for on-site retail sports betting, with each track eligible to partner with up to three online operators. This meant a total of 27 licences were carved out.

Mobile sports betting licence applications attracted several leading operators, with Bet365, FanDuel, BetMGM, Caesars, Circa, DraftKings and Penn Sports Interactive applying. All seven were ultimately approved for licences.

Fanatics and Kambi also received licence approval, although for Kambi this covers retail wagering only.

Online operators in Kentucky are taxed at 14.25% of gross gambling revenue, while retail operators are taxed at 9.75%. A licence costs racetracks $500,000. Online operators paid $50,000 to partner with the racetracks.

Which online operators and racetracks are partnered?

BetMGM and Bet365 are both partnered with Sandy’s Racing and Gaming, with BetMGM also providing retail betting. DraftKings is working with Cumberland Run in Corbin for retail betting and is also partnered with Cumberland Run and The Mint in Cumberland for mobile betting.

Caesars is tied to The Red Mile. Meanwhile, Penn Sports Interactive is partnered with Ellis Park for mobile betting.

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