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Online Gambling Kentucky: Detailed KY Gambling Guide 2024

Last Updated on 05/19/2024
Fact checked by: Mark Lewis

Kentucky has recently become the 37th state to legalize sports betting, with a market launch set for Sept. 28. This means KY gambling enthusiasts can gear up to start betting on their favorite sports events very soon.

Hundreds of dollars in pre-registration bonuses are available, with more to come once the market goes live. This guide reveals everything known about gambling in Kentucky, and what’s to come for avid bettors in the Bluegrass State.

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Discover the top sports betting sites in Kentucky

Bet365
Recommended
Favicon
4.7/5
  • Excellent range of sports betting markets available
  • World-renowned brand
  • Easy to navigate
Bet365 Bonus
First Bet Safety Net up to $1000 OR Bet $5 and Get $150
Kentucky
Players from Kentucky accepted
T&Cs apply, 21+
Go to Bet365
Bet now
Payment Methods
Find out more on Bet365.
Withdrawal
0 – 10 Days
Apps
License
Kentucky (US) Horse Racing Commission
Award
EGR – Operator of the year (2017)
Show less
BetMGM
Hot Offer
Favicon
4.7/5
  • Excellent range of sports betting markets
  • Straightforward user experience
  • Competitive odds
BetMGM Bonus
Up To $1500 in Bonus Bets Paid Back if your First Bet Does Not Win
Kentucky
Players from Kentucky accepted
T&Cs apply, 21+
Go to BetMGM
Bet now
Payment Methods
PayPal
Bank Transfer
VIP Preferred
+
Withdrawal
0 – 3 Days
Apps
License
Kentucky (US) Horse Racing Commission
Award
GGA – Digital Operator of the Year (2023)
Show less
FanDuel
Hot Offer
Favicon
4.6/5
  • Well-known company
  • Excellent range of markets
  • Clever site design
FanDuel Bonus
Bet $5 Get $150 in Bonus Bets if your bet wins
Kentucky
Players from Kentucky accepted
T&Cs apply, 21+
Go to FanDuel
Bet now
Payment Methods
PayPal
Bank Transfer
Cheque
+
Withdrawal
1 – 10 Days
Apps
License
New Jersey (US)
Award
Global Gaming Awards (2022)
Show less
Caesars
4.
Favicon
4.5/5
  • Exceptional range of betting markets
  • A fluid in-play betting section
  • Competitive odds
Caesars Bonus
100% up to $1000
Kentucky
Players from Kentucky accepted
T&Cs apply, 21+
Copy
Bet now
Payment Methods
PayPal
Bank Transfer
E-Check
+
Withdrawal
0 – 5 Days
Apps
License
Kentucky (US) Horse Racing Commission
Show More
DraftKings
5.
Favicon
4.5/5
  • Superb range of different sporting leagues
  • Effective in-play betting feature
  • Exciting fantasy team building
DraftKings Bonus
20% up to $1000
Kentucky
Players from Kentucky accepted
T&Cs apply, 21+
Go to DraftKings
Bet now
Payment Methods
PayPal
VIP Preferred
Play+
+
Withdrawal
0 – 5 Days
Apps
License
Kentucky (US) Horse Racing Commission
Award
EGR – Operator of the year (2023)
Show More
BetFanatics
6.
Favicon
4.5/5
  • Brings something new to the market
  • Solid sports betting options
  • An established name in sporting goods
BetFanatics Bonus
Bet $100, Get $100 in Bonus Bets Every Day for 10 Days!
Kentucky
Players from Kentucky accepted
T&Cs apply, 21+
Go to BetFanatics
Bet now
Apps
License
Kentucky (US) Horse Racing Commission
Show More
ESPN Bet
7.
Favicon
  • Impressive range of sports covered
  • Free live streaming
  • Cool Parlay+ feature
ESPN Bet Bonus
Kentucky
Players from Kentucky accepted
T&Cs apply, 21+
Best Alternative
Bet365 Go to Bet365
Payment Methods
Visa
Mastercard
Trustly
+
Withdrawal
0 – 10 Days
Apps
License
Kentucky (US) Horse Racing Commission
Show More

Is gambling available in Kentucky?

Yes, gambling is available in various forms in Kentucky, but it depends on what you want to wager on. Horse racing has been around since 1875, and Kentucky voters approved the lottery in 1988. The state also has favorable laws for charitable bingo, pari-mutuel games, and DFS sites, as Kentucky gambling laws don’t interpret fantasy sports betting as gambling. Players are free to wager on any of these at any land-based or approved online websites.

On the other hand, sports betting had long been illegal within the state. However, On Mar. 31, Gov. Andy Beshear signed House Bill 551 into law, legalizing sports betting, both retail and online. Casino and poker online gambling in Kentucky remain illegal.

Kentucky sports betting law came into effect on Jun. 28, 2023, and the retail launch took place on Sept. 7, with Gov. Beshear placing the first bet at Churchill Downs Race & Sports Book in Louisville. Online sports betting is slated to begin by Sept. 28.

On Aug. 22, 2023, the first set of approved betting operators was released, with eight operators getting the greenlight, including Bet365, BetMGM, Caesars, DraftKings, FanDuel, Penn (ESPN Bet), Circa, and Fanatics.

Ultimately, the state could see up to 27 sportsbooks, as the new law stipulates that the state’s nine horse racing tracks may each have three Kentucky sportsbook skins attached to their master licenses. The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission is responsible for overseeing sports betting activities in the state.

Sports you can bet on in Kentucky

Despite only just legalizing sports betting, Kentucky bettors are avid sportsbook fans. And with the NBA season about to begin, bettors in the state can back local favorites like the Kentucky Wildcats and Louisville Cardinals, all while betting securely at legal sportsbook apps.

Generally, once the regulated market gets underway, players in Kentucky will be able to wager on all professional and college sports events. Horse racing is considered separate from sports betting and won’t be allowed at online sportsbooks. You’ll be able to bet on these at dedicated online racebooks like FanDuel Racing or TwinSpires.

Key facts about Kentucky sports betting

The table below offers a visual overview of the status of legal sports betting in Kentucky:

Legalization Mar. 31, 2023
Retail launch Sept. 7, 2023
Online launch Sept. 28, 2023
Operators going live on launch day 8
Available licenses 9 (racetracks)
Sports allowed to bet on Pro sports, college sports, esports
Not allowed to bet on Politics, award shows
Legal betting age 18+
Regulator Kentucky Horse Racing Commission

Casino gambling is not legal in Kentucky. There are no land-based casinos, and you can’t access any legal real money online casino apps available in the state, either. The only way to play casino games is to sign up at sweepstakes and social casinos that accept Kentucky players. These sites offer almost everything a regular online casino does. The difference is that rather than use real money, you use virtual currencies or virtual credits to play for free.

Players looking for real money action can visit nearby states such as Indiana and Ohio, which have physical casino properties.

Kentucky gambling overview

Type Allowed
Land-based gambling Yes
DFS Yes
Sports betting Yes
Lottery Yes
Online casinos No
Poker No
Charitable gaming Yes

The legal age for KY gambling is 18 years. This is the requirement for horse racing, the most prominent form of gambling in the state. As is the standard, players must be able to verify their age and identity when playing at any legal Kentucky site or app.

Online bonuses for Kentucky

Bonuses are a staple at all other legal sports betting states in the US, so they are naturally offered here as well. Ahead of the launch, early sign-up is available, so players in the Bluegrass state can begin claiming a spot at their preferred online sportsbooks. Kentucky bettors who sign up pre-launch can benefit from special pre-launch offers.

Here’s an overview of some of the best pre-registration offers:

Online sportsbook Pre-live promo
Bet365 Receive $10 per Touchdown on a nominated NFL game Sept. 28 up to $50
FanDuel $100 in free bets on launch day + $100 off NFL Sunday Ticket!
DraftKings $200 in Bonus Bets
Caesars Pending
BetMGM Pending
Fanatics Pending

Top online gambling operators for players in Kentucky

There are several operators set to launch, and based on the new law, many more sportsbook apps will be able to join the market in the future. At the moment, these are the top KY online gambling operators to look forward to. We’ve selected these top sites based on what they offer players in other states where they’re already active, as well as the pre-registration bonuses they’re offering Kentucky bettors.

DraftKings – America’s market leader for sports betting

DraftKings Sport Betting Ohio
DraftKings: Pros & Cons
  • Wide range of sports
  • Live in-game betting
  • User-friendly mobile app
  • Restrictive terms on some bonuses

Kentucky marks the 22nd state entry for DraftKings sportsbook. And the sportsbook is offering an exciting pre-launch deal of $200 in bonus bets for players who sign up before Sep. 28, when the site goes live. The bonus will be credited as 8 x $25 bonus bets on launch day.

DraftKings is a top-notch sportsbook operator that has carved a niche for itself in the online sports betting industry. Known for its user-friendly interface, it offers a wide array of sports and betting options to choose from, making it a preferred choice for players across the globe. One of the major highlights of DraftKings is its live in-game betting feature, which allows players to place bets in real time as the action unfolds. Moreover, DraftKings is also renowned for its daily fantasy sports contests, which have garnered a massive following over the years. The operator provides a seamless mobile experience through its well-designed app, which is available for both iOS and Android devices.

DraftKings
Sports Bonus
4.5/5
20% up to $1000
Deposit Bonus
|
T&Cs apply, 21+
Go to DraftKings
Bet now
DraftKings Highlights
  • Superb range of different sporting leagues
  • Effective in-play betting feature
  • Exciting fantasy team building

FanDuel – Offers unique betting experiences

FanDuel Sport Live Ohio
FanDuel: Pros & Cons
  • Exclusive live streaming
  • Unique bonuses and promotions
  • Intuitive mobile app
  • Limited cash-out options

The second most widely available betting operator in the US is FanDuel, and they’re masters of bonus bets, same-game parlays, and profit boosts. The sportsbook is offering players in the Bluegrass State a pre-launch deal of $100 in free bets + $100 off NFL Sunday Ticket.

FanDuel stands out as one of the premier sportsbook operators in the market. It boasts an extensive selection of sports and betting options, appealing to both novice and seasoned players alike. One of its most notable features is the ‘Cash Out’ option, which allows players to settle bets before the event concludes, thus providing more control over their wagers. Exclusive live streaming is also available on select events. Additionally, FanDuel also offers a comprehensive daily fantasy sports platform, a sector in which it has been a dominant player for years. The dedicated iOS and Android mobile apps are intuitively designed, making it easy for players to navigate through various options, place bets, and manage their accounts on the go.

FanDuel
Sports Bonus
4.6/5
Bet $5 Get $150 in Bonus Bets if your bet wins
Welcome Bonus
|
T&Cs apply, 21+
Go to FanDuel
Bet now
FanDuel Highlights
  • Well-known company
  • Excellent range of markets
  • Clever site design

Bet365 – Solid reputation both home and abroad

Bet365 Ontario Sportsbook & Casino Reviews
Bet365: Pros & Cons
  • Vast selection of local and international sports
  • Competitive betting odds
  • User-friendly mobile app
  • No phone support

Bet365 is one of the most popular and trusted sportsbook operators worldwide. It offers a vast array of sports and betting markets. So, plenty of local and international markets are covered. The operator is renowned for its live streaming feature, which allows players to watch and bet on events in real time. The feature is provided for a wide range of sports, making the betting experience more immersive and engaging. Additionally, Bet365 provides an excellent mobile experience through its app, which is user-friendly and available on both iOS and Android devices. The cash-out option, which allows players to settle bets before the event is over, adds an extra layer of flexibility and control.

Bet365 also offers some excellent bonus deals for new and existing players. The operator is launching in Kentucky with a pre-registration offer. Players who sign up early will, on launch day, receive $10 per Touchdown on a nominated NFL game up to $50.

Bet365
Sports Bonus
4.7/5
First Bet Safety Net up to $1000 OR Bet $5 and Get $150
Free Bet
|
Go to Bet365
Bet now
Bet365 Highlights
  • Excellent range of sports betting markets available
  • World-renowned brand
  • Easy to navigate
At bet365 we don’t do ordinary, that’s why if you sign up now you’ll get the choice of two great New Customer Offers, the First Bet Safety Net up to $1000 or Bet $5 and Get $150 in Bonus Bets. Deposit required. Bonus Bets wager excluded from returns. T&Cs, time limits and exclusions apply. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-Gambler 21+

Responsible Kentucky online gambling

All legal sports betting sites in the state will be licensed and regulated by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission. Among the requirements for licensing is a commitment to responsible gambling. Typically, KY sports betting platforms must perform ID verification, a process where the casino verifies the identity of a player by requesting certain documents. This helps in preventing fraud and underage gambling.

When online gambling in KY, legal operators will also provide safer gambling tools like spending limits, win limits, loss limits, cooling off periods, and self-exclusion. All these serve to promote responsible gambling within the state.

The Kentucky Council on Problem Gambling (KYCPG) also provides a 24/7 hotline where players dealing with gambling addiction or potential issues can discuss their gambling habits with trained counselors and get professional advice and assistance.

Conclusion of online gambling in Kentucky

The Bluegrass state has a solid online history of gambling. Home to the Kentucky Derby, horse racing and pari-mutuels have long been the most popular gambling options. The state lottery and charitable gaming are also among the older gambling forms KY bettors may be familiar with.

KY gambling has expanded significantly with the legalization of sports betting, the results of which we should expect to see when the market launches. Now, bettors can also enjoy retail and online sports betting, with plenty of action to bet on.

The best sports betting bonuses in KY for 2024

Bet365
1.
Favicon
4.7/5
First Bet Safety Net up to $1000 OR Bet $5 and Get $150
Virginia
Players from Virginia accepted
Requirements (WR): 1x Bonus, Min. Deposit: $10
Go to Bet365
Get bonus now
At bet365 we don’t do ordinary, that’s why if you sign up now you’ll get the choice of two great New Customer Offers, the First Bet Safety Net up to $1000 or Bet $5 and Get $150 in Bonus Bets. Deposit required. Bonus Bets wager excluded from returns. T&Cs, time limits and exclusions apply. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-Gambler 21+
BetMGM
2.
Favicon
4.7/5
Up To $1500 in Bonus Bets Paid Back if your First Bet Does Not Win
Virginia
Players from Virginia accepted
Min. Deposit: $10
Go to BetMGM
Get bonus now
T&Cs apply, 21+
FanDuel
3.
Favicon
4.6/5
Bet $5 Get $150 in Bonus Bets if your bet wins
Virginia
Players from Virginia accepted
Requirements (WR): 1x Deposit, Min. Deposit: $10
Go to FanDuel
Get bonus now
T&Cs apply, 21+
Caesars
4.
Favicon
4.5/5
100% up to $1000
Virginia
Players from Virginia accepted
Requirements (WR): 1x Deposit
Copy
Get bonus now
T&Cs apply, 21+
DraftKings
5.
Favicon
4.5/5
20% up to $1000
Virginia
Players from Virginia accepted
Requirements (WR): 1x Bonus, Min. Deposit: $5
Go to DraftKings
Get bonus now
T&Cs apply, 21+

KY gambling FAQ

Yes, gambling is legal in Kentucky. You can bet on horse racing, the Kentucky lottery, and charitable gaming. Sports betting has recently been added to the mix.

🎰 Can you gamble on casino games in Kentucky?

Casinos are not legal in the state, and you won’t find either physical or online casinos. The only way to play casino games is by visiting the nearest casino states like Indiana and Ohio. Otherwise, you can play for fun at sweepstakes casinos that accept players in Kentucky.

🏇 Can I bet online for the Kentucky Derby?

Racebooks like TwinSpires or TVG support online horse racing bets in Kentucky, and you can even place wagers on the Kentucky Derby at these sites. Just sign up and bet on your favorite to win.

Top Betting Sites
Top Betting Bonuses
Bet365
Bet365
Bet365 Review
4.7/5
BetMGM
BetMGM
BetMGM Review
4.7/5
FanDuel
FanDuel
FanDuel Review
4.6/5
Caesars
Caesars
Caesars Review
4.5/5
DraftKings
DraftKings
DraftKings Review
4.5/5
BetFanatics
BetFanatics
BetFanatics Review
4.5/5
BetRivers.com
BetRivers.com
BetRivers.com Review
4.5/5
Barstool
Barstool Review
4.1/5
Bet365
Bet365 Bonus
First Bet Safety Net up to $1000 OR Bet $5 and Get $150
T&Cs apply
4.7/5
At bet365 we don't do ordinary, that's why if you sign up now you'll get the choice of two great New Customer Offers, the First Bet Safety Net up to $1000 or Bet $5 and Get $150 in Bonus Bets. Deposit required. Bonus Bets wager excluded from returns. T&Cs, time limits and exclusions apply. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-Gambler 21+
BetMGM
BetMGM Bonus
Up To $1500 in Bonus Bets Paid Back if your First Bet Does Not Win
T&Cs apply
4.7/5
FanDuel
FanDuel Bonus
Bet $5 Get $150 in Bonus Bets if your bet wins
T&Cs apply
4.6/5
Caesars
Caesars Bonus
100% up to $1000
T&Cs apply
4.5/5
DraftKings
DraftKings Bonus
20% up to $1000
T&Cs apply
4.5/5
BetFanatics
BetFanatics Bonus
Bet $100, Get $100 in Bonus Bets Every Day for 10 Days!
T&Cs apply
4.5/5
BetRivers.com
BetRivers.com Bonus
Second chance bet: Get up to $500 in Bonus Bets
T&Cs apply
4.5/5
Barstool Bonus
T&Cs apply
4.1/5
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