Is Circa Sportsbook Eyeing Kentucky Launch? ‘Exploring Every Opportunity’

Written By Matthew Bain on June 29, 2023
Circa Sportsbook Kentucky launch

A fledgling online sportsbook backed by a major Las Vegas brand may look to launch in Kentucky.

Circa Sportsbook, the online version of the world-renowned Circa Sports locations in Las Vegas, is looking into getting a license and working its way into the Kentucky sports betting landscape. At least, that’s what Mike Palm, Circa’s vice president of operations, said during a VSiN broadcast last week.

PlayKentucky reached out to Circa following that VSiN broadcast regarding the sportsbook’s potential plans for sports betting in Kentucky.

Here was the response, from Jeff Benson, director of operations:

“We don’t have any Kentucky expansion news to share at the moment, however we are exploring every opportunity to bring sports betting the way it should be to as many bettors as possible.”

Kentucky would be Circa’s 5th state

Circa Sportsbook is available for mobile sports betting in Nevada, Colorado and Iowa. It’s also approved in Illinois and slated to launch its app and a retail venue at a temporary casino, called The Temporary by American Place Casino in Waukegan. Eventually, Circa will have its permanent retail sportsbook at the permanent American Place Casino, which will open in 2025.

Circa launched its online sports betting operations in 2019. It currently has a 3.5% market share in Nevada. In Iowa, it has 0.8% of the market; that’s the eighth-largest market share out of 18 online operators. And Colorado does not release operator-specific revenue and handle totals.

Only one operator confirmed for Kentucky market so far

So far, only one sportsbook has claimed its place in the Kentucky market. There will be a Caesars Sportsbook Kentucky app, thanks to Caesars Entertainment’s partnership with Keeneland and Red Mile, both Lexington racetracks.

Revolutionary Racing, which owns Sandy’s Racing & Gaming in Ashland, told PlayKentucky it’s in “final negotiations” and is close to announcing its sportsbook partner. Other racetracks might be following the lead of Kentucky Downs, which told PlayKentucky it’s waiting for sports betting regulations to be finalized in July before signing any deals.

Who do we expect to see in Kentucky?

It’s same to assume we’ll see BetMGM Kentucky, DraftKings Kentucky and FanDuel Kentucky all launch. We also wouldn’t be at all surprised to see Bet365 Kentucky go live. Beyond that, though, the field is wide open.

The Kentucky sports betting law allows for the state’s nine horse racetracks and Kentucky Speedway to run a retail sportsbook and partner with up to three online operators. That’s a grand total of 40 licenses — 10 retail and 30 online. So there’s plenty of room for a Circa Sportsbook, if it can find the right partnership.

Photo by AP Photo/John Locher
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Matthew Bain

Matthew Bain started as a Content Manager for PlayKentucky and other Catena Media sites in 2022. He covered the launch of Massachusetts sports betting and the Prop 26 vs. Prop 27 battle in California. Before that, he spent six years as a sports reporter and then deputy sports editor for the Des Moines Register, during which time he won nine statewide journalism awards, including the Genevieve Mauck Stoufer Outstanding Young Iowa Journalists Award. As deputy sports editor, Matthew oversaw the Register's recruiting coverage while also innovating the outlet's high school sports coverage. Matthew graduated from San Diego State and grew up in California, but he's somehow a Boston Celtics fan. Long story.

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