Keeneland Passes On Kentucky Sports Betting Kiosks For Spring Races

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Kentucky sports betting

There will be no Kentucky sports betting kiosks at Keeneland for its spring horse racing season, according to track officials.

This is the first Keeneland spring meet with legal Kentucky sports betting after the market launched last September. The track will welcome upward of 200,000 people over 16 days of live racing between April 5 and April 26.

“We are not placing (sports betting) kiosks at Keeneland,” Jim Goodman, director of wagering development at Keeneland, told LSR on Monday. “With the vast majority of (sports betting) handle being mobile, we feel that the brick-and-mortar location at Red Mile serves our needs right now.”

Kentucky sports betting foot traffic

The Lexington-based race track is partnered with Red Mile Gaming & Racing to offer in-person sports betting in the city. Opening weekend for Keeneland coincides with college basketball’s Final Four on Saturday, April 6.

Gabe Prewitt, VP of racing and sports wagering operations at Red Mile, expects increased foot traffic as March Madness betting ends and horse betting picks up. Keeneland’s spring racing meet features multiple Kentucky Derby prep races.

“The horse racing schedule will naturally bring a lot more traffic to the property,” Prewitt told LSR. He added that foot traffic was strong for the start of the college basketball tournament despite a first-round loss by the University of Kentucky.

Separate KY sports betting license required

Goodman said they will consider adding sports betting kiosks at Keeneland in the future if they feel it makes sense. However, placing sports betting kiosks at the track would require a separate license.

According to Goodman, the Red Mile sports betting license would not cover kiosks at Keeneland, even though the two entities have a partnership.

Early Bluegrass betting figures

Kentucky sportsbooks opened for in-person business on September 7. Online apps launched three weeks later.

Through December 2023, Blue Grass State bettors staked $892.4 million, according to figures from the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission.

In-person betting accounted for 4%, or $36.6 million, of total handle.

Most popular in-person locations

The retail sportsbook at Churchill Downs in Louisville cleared $894,000 in revenue between September and December last year. Bettors put down $13.5 million in handle.

Red Mile accepted $11.5 million in bets, producing $1.3 million in revenue over that time, making it the second most popular location for in-person sports betting in Kentucky.