LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) — Kentucky’s launch of mobile sports betting has attracted more users than expected.
Data experts say more than 312,000 online betting accounts have been created since mobile betting started last Thursday and nearly 9 million location checks have been made by a business that works with six of the mobile betting companies.
Senior Vice President, Government & Public Affairs at GeoComply John Pappas said, “We already knew there was going to be tremendous demand. We were seeing a lot of demand near the borders where people we saw from Kentucky going into Cincinnati just to place wagers.”
Pappas says Kentucky’s numbers are impressive, nearly double what they’re seeing in Louisiana which is close to the same size.
“So, we knew once it launched there would be a lot of interest in the state, and I think we see that across the country, when new markets open, consumers really enjoy the opportunity to bet for the first time in a legal and regulated environment,” Pappas said.
In-person betting was rolled out first, followed by mobile betting. Monday night football fans seem to prefer the app
“It’s much easier using the app and going to the casino,” said sports bettor Matt Piatt “Bet365 offered $365 credit to bet, so I wasn’t losing my money at first.”
Sports bars, like Double Dogs in Lexington, are seeing a spike in business. Managers we spoke with say guests are glued to the TVs now that they have skin in the game.
Co-general manager at Double Dogs, Charles Wheeler, said, “Things have been huge for us. We don’t do any direct betting here in the restaurant because we don’t have a sportsbook obviously. The apps have definitely been very active. This past Sunday, it was very, very clear that we had guests placing their bets.”
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Pappas says the timing of the launch may have something to do with the big numbers…
“We are in the most popular betting season of the year, football season. So, the NFL is always going to be the top market or you know, betting activity for consumers across the country. So, Kentucky stepped in at really the right time to really take advantage of the NFL and collegiate betting on football,” Pappas said.
Sports betting is expected to generate around 23 million dollars in annual tax revenue for the state.