Second mobile expansion in 7 months

Circa Sports launches mobile betting in Kentucky, expanding reach to fifth state

Reading time 1:36 min

Circa Sports announced on Monday the commencement of mobile betting operations in Kentucky, marking the fifth state where the company has extended its services.

This launch represents the second mobile expansion for the Las Vegas-based sportsbook within the past seven months, following a similar launch in Illinois in late September last year. Additionally, Circa Sports is currently accessible through sports betting apps in Colorado and Iowa, in addition to its home state of Nevada.

In an exclusive interview with Yogonet last year, Derek Stevens, Circa Sports CEO, said the company is pursuing a different approach in Kentucky. "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," he said at the time. 

"The retail book will be located right on the Kentucky-Tennessee border. 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."

The entrance of Circa into the Bluegrass State increases Kentucky's count of mobile operators to eight. Notably, it is the first new mobile sportsbook to enter the market since Kentucky's initial launch with seven digital operators on September 28.

Kentucky has reported an average mobile handle of $269.2 million in its first three months of operation. However, it is anticipated that this figure may increase further when the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission releases January's figures.

While industry giants DraftKings and FanDuel dominate online sports betting in Kentucky, other operators have struggled to establish themselves as viable alternatives. Caesars, bet365, ESPN BET, Fanatics Sportsbook, and BetMGM failed to achieve a $20 million handle in either November or December. Among these, Fanatics recorded the lowest handle, totaling just $11 million across both months.

The gross revenue hold for the initial three-plus months of wagering in Kentucky stood at 12.6%, a figure significantly surpassing the industry standard of 7% by 80%. This stark contrast is notable compared to Circa's mobile sportsbook in Illinois, where it maintains a win rate of 1.4% against a completed events handle of $38.7 million through January since its launch.

In Illinois, Circa Sports averages $404 per wager via its sports betting app, excluding any parlay wagers.

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