Despite Upcoming Launch, KY Not Showing Sports Betting Interest On Google

Written By Matthew Bain on June 1, 2023 - Last Updated on June 28, 2023
Kentucky Google search sports betting interest, from

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:

  1. Delaware
  2. Nevada
  3. Kansas
  4. Mississippi
  5. Massachusetts
  6. Missouri


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.

For a wild card, we at PlayKentucky really think Kentucky is a good fit for Bet365 Sportsbook as it spreads to the US.

Photo by
Matthew Bain Avatar
Written by
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.

View all posts by Matthew Bain