Outside the top four operators, BetRivers is one of the biggest sports betting operators in the US.
And the company’s latest update regarding its Kentucky plans is … a whole lot of nothing.
A BetRivers spokesperson responded to PlayKentucky‘s request for comment over the weekend.
“There is no info to release at this time,” she wrote in an email.
That doesn’t exactly help crystalize the picture of the Kentucky sports betting landscape. But it also doesn’t remove BetRivers from consideration. The response was not a “we will not launch in Kentucky.” It was, “Sorry, got nothing for ya right now.”
BetRivers currently offers its sportsbook in Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Ohio, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia. Its most recent launch was in Ohio on Jan. 1. Before that, it launched in November 2022 in Maryland.
Handicapping the odds of BetRivers launching in Kentucky
The likelihood of a BetRivers Kentucky launching in 2023 feels about like a coin flip right now. BetRivers chose not to apply for a license in Massachusetts — a mild surprise after it notified the state’s gaming commission it wanted information regarding the license application process.
But the message was clear: BetRivers didn’t seek a license in Massachusetts because it felt its resources — money — were better directed elsewhere, like its online casino product.
Will the same be true for Kentucky? The online operator license fee is just $50,000, compared to $1 million in Massachusetts.
And Kentucky offers a unique prospect for smaller sportsbooks. The legal sports betting age will be 18. Caesars Sportsbook Kentucky, which has secured its place in the Bluegrass State via a partnership with Keeneland and Red Mile, has already said it will be 21-plus in Kentucky.
FanDuel Kentucky, which is partnered with Churchill Downs, is expected to follow suit.
Same with BetMGM Kentucky, no matter whom it partners with.
Unique opportunity with 18+ bettors
BetRivers, meanwhile, may choose to allow 18-20-year-old bettors in Kentucky in order to carve out as big a chunk of the market as possible. That’s a significant demographic of sports bettors that Caesars, FanDuel and BetMGM (we’ll see about DraftKings Kentucky) will not serve — leaving it wide open for other smaller operators.
A recent NCAA study found that 60% of college students bet on sports.
And what ages are most college students?
Your move, BetRivers.