Kentucky is a state full of ravenous college sports fans. Two cities — Louisville and Lexington — have major universities and populations of at least 300,000. And the state will launch a sports betting industry soon, perhaps by NFL kickoff in September.
Yet … there might not be as much sports betting interest among residents as you’d expect.
At least on Google.
Analyzing search trends doesn’t tell you everything, but it does provide hard-to-refute data to pick apart.
Not as many sports betting searches as you’d expect in Kentucky
Ahrefs is an online search analysis tool that allows you to type in a search term and learn about its search volume, related keywords and much more. It’s considered one of the best ways to judge how a site is performing when it comes to Google keywords, as well as which keywords are most being searched.
So, PlayKentucky decided to do a little experiment. We typed “sports betting” into the keyword analyzer to see how much action a very specific phrase — Kentucky sports betting — was getting compared to other states.
The result? In terms of search volume, “Kentucky sports betting” ranked below terms involving 32 other states.
Of course, we’re talking about search volume here, so state population will affect how many residents seek information about sports betting in their state. However, consider these two factors:
- Kentucky is the only remaining sports betting launch expected in 2023, so you’d expect at least some uptick in national search volume — which indicates the chunk of in-state searching is even smaller.
- Nine states with smaller populations than Kentucky — Oregon, Oklahoma, Iowa, Arkansas, Kansas, Maine, Montana, Rhode Island and Delaware — all ranked higher in terms of state-specific sports betting search volume.
For reference: The search volume Ahrefs assigns to “Kentucky sports betting” is currently 800 on its scale. The search volume it assigns to those nine states with smaller populations range from 900 to 2,900, with “Kansas sports betting” getting the most volume and “Oklahoma sports betting” the least.
Google Trends tells a similar story
With a simple Google Trends look at the past 30 days, Kentucky ranks seventh in terms of the most searches for “sports betting” as a ratio to the state’s population. Translation: Even Wyoming could rank No. 1 if it had the highest ratio of searches to overall population.
The states ahead of Kentucky are:
What does this all mean? Hard to tell. Like we said, these analysis tools aren’t the end-all be-all of what is truly popular and generating interest in a state. But it’s certainly interesting to look at.
Numbers like these won’t stop sportsbook apps from coming to Kentucky, though. We already know Caesars KY Sportsbook will launch in the state. We can pretty much assume BetMGM Kentucky, DraftKings Kentucky and FanDuel Kentucky will, too.