Kentucky Online Sports Betting: Early Sign UP Offers

Written by: Michael Savio

Kentucky State Blue SilhouetteKentucky sports betting is avaliable in retail locations with online sports betting, which launched in September 2023.

Bettors in the Bluegrass State can now wager sports using one of the state's many online and retail sportsbooks.

Best Kentucky Sports Betting Apps

1

New players only | 21+ | Must bet $10+ | Paid in Bonus Bets | Bonus Bets expire in 7 days | Bonus Bets not included in winnings | Full T&C apply

2

New players only | 21+ | Must deposit $10+ | Use bonus code SPORTS | Free Bet expire after 14 days | Free Bet not included in winnings | Full T&C apply

3

New players only | 21+ | Deposit required. Bonus Bets available for use upon settlement of qualifying bet. Returns exclude Bonus Bets wager.

4

Must be 21+ and physically present in AZ, FL, IN, NJ, OH, TN or VA to play. Terms and conditions apply.

All Live Kentucky Sportsbooks

While online sportsbooks won’t go live until the end of September, eight KY sports betting online licenses have been awarded. 

These sportsbooks are already working to gain a foothold in the market with pre-launch promos, giving players an advantage before they can even place their first bet. While these sportsbooks do have a lot in common, there are unique features that set them apart.

Our USALegalbetting.com experts have spent time going through each sportsbook to identify what makes them worth playing. Here is a list of all eight sportsbooks along with the biggest benefit they offer according to our experts: 

  • Caesars Sportsbook KY
  • FanDuel Sportsbook KY
  • BetMGM Sportsbook KY 
  • DraftKings Sportsbook KY
  • Bet365 Sportsbook KY
  • ESPN BET KY
  • Circa Sportsbook KY 
  • Fanatics Sportsbook KY

Ranking the Kentucky Sportsbooks

While these sportsbooks have yet to launch, they have strong reputations and plans to attract new players. That will lead to aggressive promos and bonuses that will benefit Kentuckians, but it can also make picking the correct one difficult. 

Below we will provide you with the details on each of the upcoming Kentucky betting sites to help you choose the right one for you. We’ll review the details for each sportsbook, so you have all the information before getting started.

If you are struggling to choose a KY sports betting site, then you have come to the right place!

  1. Caesars Sportsbook KY – Most Recurring Bonuses and Fantastic Rewards
  2. FanDuel Sportsbook KY – Best Odds & Horse Racing Platform
  3. BetMGM Sportsbook KY – Best Customer Service 
  4. DraftKings Sportsbook KY – Best Pre-Registration Bonus 
  5. Bet365 Sportsbook KY – Best Mobile App & Welcome Bonus
  6. ESPN BET KY – Best Industry Newcomer
  7. Circa Sportsbook KY – Best Odds Boosts & Early Cash out Options
  8. Fanatics Sportsbook KY – Best Rewards Program

Caesars Sportsbook KY – Most Recurring Bonuses and Fantastic Rewards

Caesars sportsbook

Caesars is one of the most established brands on this list, with their iconic Las Vegas Resort & Casino opening in 1966. That means they have over five decades of experience in the sports betting industry, and they have used that to build an incredible online sportsbook. They offer more recurring bonuses than their competitors, so you will always have options to earn extra bets. They also feature an elite rewards program that lets player earn things like hotel stays, flights, and VIP event tickets. 

Sign Up Offer$1,000 First Bet Offer
Caesars KY Promo CodeN/A
Minimum Betting Age21
Minimum deposit$10
App PlatformsiOS & Android
How It’s ListedCaesars Sportsbook 
Caesars Sportsbook Legal StatesAZ, CO, IL, IN, IA, KS, LA, MD, ME, MA, MI, NV, NJ, NY, OH, PA, TN, VA, WV, D.C., WY
Retail Partnership (Casino)Keeneland and Red Mile Gaming & Racing
Retail Partnership (Sports)N/A
Other PartnershipsN/A
Legalized or Launch DateSeptember 28, 2023
Caesars Sportsbook Review

C

FanDuel Sportsbook KY – Best Odds & Horse Racing Platform

FanDuel Sportsbook

There is a reason FanDuel has become one of the top online sportsbooks in the country. The DFS giant has succeeded in the sports betting industry thanks in part to some of the most competitive odds in the industry. That means you can usually win more at FanDuel, which is a big factor to consider when selecting a sportsbook. FanDuel also has the best platform for Horse Race betting, which can be accessed directly from their sportsbook.

Sign Up OfferBet $50, Get $200 if it wins
FanDuel KY Promo CodeN/A
Minimum Betting Age21
Minimum deposit$10
App PlatformsiOS & Android
How It’s ListedFanDuel Sportsbook & Casino
FanDuel Legal StatesAZ, CO, IL, CT, IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, LA, MD, MA, MI, NV, NJ, NY, OH, PA, TN, VA, VT, WA, WV, D.C., WY
Retail Partnership (Casino)Churchill Downs
Retail Partnership (Sports)N/A
Other PartnershipsN/A
Legalized or Launch DateSeptember 28, 2023
FanDuel Review

BetMGM Sportsbook KY – Best Customer Service

BetMGM Sportsbook

Like Caesars, MGM is another Vegas icon with decades of sports betting experience. Their platform captures that Vegas feel, but their customer service is what sets them apart. If you run into any issues with BetMGM, a “Help & Customer Care” button is featured at the top of each page. You can click that link to access FAQ’s as well as a live chat option that is available 24/7.

Sign Up OfferBet $5, Get $158 in Bonus Bets
BetMGM KY Promo CodeN/A
Minimum Betting Age21
Minimum deposit$10
App PlatformsiOS & Android
How It’s ListedBetMGM Sportsbook
BetMGM Legal States AZ, CO, DC, IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, MI, NJ, OH, NV, NY, PA, TN, VA, WV, WY
Retail Partnership (Casino)Sandy’s Racing and Gaming
Retail Partnership (Sports)N/A
Other PartnershipsN/A
Legalized or Launch DateSeptember 28, 2023
BetMGM Review

DraftKings Sportsbook KY – Best Pre-Registration Bonus

DraftKings Sportsbook

DraftKings has joined FanDuel as the largest US online sportsbooks, and it’s easy to see why. Their platform is easy to use, and they have one of the largest betting markets available. While DraftKings isn’t known for their promotions, that isn’t the case in Kentucky. DraftKings will give players $200 in bonus bets just for signing up, so you can start playing before you spend any real money.

Sign Up OfferBet $5, Get $200 in Bonus Bets
DraftKings KY Promo CodeN/A
Minimum Betting Age18
Minimum deposit$10
App PlatformsiOS & Android
How It’s ListedDraftKings Sportsbook & Casino
DraftKings Legal StatesAZ, CO, CT, IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, LA, MA, ME, MD, MI, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OR, PA, TN, VT, WA, WV, WY
Retail Partnership (Casino)Cumberland Run
Retail Partnership (Sports)N/A
Other PartnershipsN/A
Legalized or Launch DateSeptember 28, 2023
DraftKings Review

Bet365 Sportsbook KY – Best Mobile App & Competitive Welcome Bonus

Bet365 Sportsbook Logo

While many US sports bettors may not be familiar with bet365. They have been one of the largest international online sportsbooks for years. They have slowly been building up in the US, going live in just five states before Kentucky. Bet365 hopes to compete in the Bluegrass state with the most unique welcome bonus on this list. They are currently allowing new players to choose from one of two welcome bonuses.

Sign Up OfferBet $5, Get $150 OR $2000 First Bet Safety Net
Bet365 KY Promo CodeN/A
Minimum Betting Age18
Minimum deposit$10
App PlatformsiOS & Android
How It’s ListedBet365 - Sportsbook
Bet365 Legal StatesCO, IA, IN, KY, LA, NJ, OH, VA
Retail Partnership (Casino)Sandy’s Racing & Games
Retail Partnership (Sports)N/A
Other PartnershipsN/A
Legalized or Launch DateSeptember 28, 2023
Bet365 Review

ESPN BET KY – Best Industry Newcomer

ESPN Bet

Kentucky is 1 of 17 states to have access to the brand-new ESPN Bet Sportsbook. ESPN partnered with Penn Entertainment to take over the Barstool sportsbook. While that means there could be bugs with the platform, but their $100 in Bonus Bets is too good to pass up. It may take some fine tuning, but the ESPN brand should help it become a quick success.

Sign Up Offer$100 in Bonus Bets
ESPN Bet KY Promo CodeN/A
Minimum Betting Age21
Minimum deposit$10
App PlatformsiOS & Android
How It’s ListedESPN BET
ESPN Bet StatesAZ, CO, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, MI, NJ, OH, PA, TN, VA, WV
Retail Partnership (Casino)N/A
Retail Partnership (Sports)N/A
Other PartnershipsN/A
Legalized or Launch DateSeptember 28, 2023
ESPN Bet Review

Circa Sportsbook KY – Best Odds Boosts & Early Cash out Options

Circa is a relatively small sportsbook, with Kentucky set to become just their fourth US Market. However, the Circa Las Vegas Sportsbook is the largest in the world. They know what it takes to run a successfully sportsbook, and their online sports betting platform is no different. The layout is unique, but the large amount of odds boosts and an early cash out option make them a great option for players of all levels.

Sign Up OfferN/A
Circa Sports KY Promo CodeN/A
Minimum Betting Age21
Minimum deposit$10
App PlatformsiOS & Android
How It’s ListedCirca Sports
Circa StatesCO, NV, KY, IA (IL coming soon)
Retail Partnership (Casino)N/A
Retail Partnership (Sports)N/A
Other PartnershipsN/A
Legalized or Launch DateSeptember 28, 2023
Circa ReviewClick our link

Fanatics Sportsbook KY – Best Rewards Program

Fanatics Sportsbook

Fanatics has been planning their entry into the US sports betting market for years, and now they are finally expanding. Fanatics recently purchased rival PointsBet Sportsbook’s US business, giving them access to more than a dozen markets. The early feedback from their sportsbook has been great, but their FanCash rewards program is turning heads. For each bet you place, Fanatics will give you 5% back in FanCash that can be used for anything from betting to buying jerseys for your favorite sports team.

Sign Up OfferBet $50, Get $200 in FanCash
Fanatics Sportsbook KY Promo CodeN/A
Minimum Betting Age21
Minimum deposit$10
App PlatformsiOS & Android
How It’s ListedFanatics Sportsbook
Available StatesCO, CT, KY, MD, MA, NC, OH, PA, TN, VT, VA, WV
Retail Partnership (Casino)N/A
Retail Partnership (Sports)N/A
Other PartnershipsN/A
Legalized or Launch DateSeptember 28, 2023
Fanatics Sportsbook KY Review

How to Start Betting in Kentucky

While each KY sports betting site has their own unique sign-up pages, the overall process is universal. That means signing up for a sportsbook is straightforward, making it easy for newcomers and savvy vets alike.

If you are looking for help getting started sports betting in Kentucky, use this step-by-step guide:

  1. Choose a Sportsbook
    This may seem obvious, but choosing the sportsbook you want to use is the first step. Be sure to always compare multiple sportsbooks. Look for things like bonuses & promotions, payment methods, number of betting markets, and customer reviews. This will help you choose the best fit before getting started
  2. Register Online
    Once you have chosen a sportsbook, simply visit their homepage (or mobile app) and look for the “Register” or “Join Now” button at the top of the screen. You will be prompted to enter your information to create your account and verify your identity.
  3. Choose Your Bonus
    Never sign up for a new sportsbook without checking for a welcome bonus. Almost all Kentucky betting apps will offer some form of a welcome package, but new players will sometimes need to “opt-in” or use a promo code to take advantage. You can find these on USALegalbetting.com, or simply check the “promotions” sections of the sportsbook. 
  4. Make a Deposit
    Unless you have a no-deposit bonus, you’ll need to make a deposit before using Kentucky betting apps. You can do this through your account page but choosing your deposit method and determine the amount you want to add. If using a credit or debit card, be sure to check with your bank to ensure they will allow the transfer. Some won’t allow funds to be added for gambling in Kentucky.
  5. Time to Start Betting!
    Now that you have created an account and made a deposit, you are all set to start betting on sports. Each sportsbook has a menu with the sports available to bet on. Once you choose one, you will be able to select a league and see the odds available. Just be sure to take your welcome bonus into account before making your first bet.

Kentucky Sports Betting: Latest News

Legalizing online sports betting sites in Kentucky was a long process, but now they are set to officially launch the industry in September 2023. That has led to plenty of excitement, but getting here was an uphill battle.

Here are some of the most newsworthy events leading up to the launch:

📰 June 5, 2024: Kentucky's success with legal sports betting has led some to question if the state is helping problem gamblers.

📰 November 10, 2023: The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission has reported that Kentucky's overall handle reached $340.8 by the end of October.

📰 October 24, 2023: Governor Andy Beshear announces the state has surpassed a handle of $250 million since its launch.

📰 August 31, 2023: The Kentucky Sports Wagering Advisory Council has its first meeting and approve sports betting catalog.

📰 August 28, 2023: Kentucky opens pre-registration process, allowing players to claim pre-launch bonuses from the eight regulated sportsbooks.

📰 August 22, 2023: The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission announces seven retails sportsbooks and eight online sportsbooks that have received temporary operating licenses for the upcoming launch.

📰 August 17, 2023: Kentucky sets official pre-registration date for a month before the launch of online sports betting.

📰 August 4, 2023: The KHRC officially sets launch dates for retails and online sports betting

📰 August 1, 2023: FanDuel joins Caesars in setting their minimum age at 21, despite Kentucky’s law setting it at 18.

📰 July 27, 2023: The iconic Churchill Downs announces they will offer on-site Kentucky sports betting after the launch.

📰 July 13, 2023: Kentucky creates the Sports Wagering Advisory Council to help the KHRC regulate the state’s sports betting industry. 

📰 July 10, 2023: The KHRC approves rules for retail and online sportsbooks.

📰 May 16, 2023: Caesars becomes the first sportsbook to gain access to the Kentucky Market by partnering with two Kentucky racetracks.

How Did Kentucky Sports Betting Become Legal?

While legal sports betting now has the support of most Kentucky legislators, it took three years between the first proposal and HB 551 being signed into law. That includes two failed bills, and heated debates between legislators. 

Here is a brief timeline of the sports betting Kentucky saga:

  • March 31, 2023: Governor Andy Beshear signed HB 551 into law, paving the way for legal Kentucky sports gambling
  • March 30, 2023: The bill gains more support in the Senate is easily passed, sending it to Governor Beshear to sign off on.
  • March 13, 2023: The house approves HB 551 by almost 30 votes, sending a second sports betting bill to the Senate
  • February 22, 2023: HB 551 is proposed in a Kentucky house sub-committee after HB 606 fails to pass.
  • April 14, 2022: The Kentucky Senate fails to pass HB 606, dealing the industry another blow.
  • March 18, 2022: HB 606 easily passes a house vote and is sent to the state Senate to approve.
  • January 9, 2021: A year after HB 137 fails, HB 241 is proposed to legalize sports betting, online poker, and DFS once again.
  • January 7, 2020: Kentucky sees its legal sports betting bill, HB 137, which would have allowed online poker and DFS as well. The bill was easily defeated.
  • May 14, 2018: The Supreme Court overturns PASPA, paving the way for states to legalize sports betting.

Kentucky Betting Law

While sports betting took time to gain approval in Kentucky, the law allows the industry to grow quickly. Kentucky allows for up to nine retails (all at racetracks) and up to 27 online sportsbooks. All bets must be placed within state lines, and bettors must be at least 18 years old. The age minimum applies to the state only, as several sportsbooks have said they will not allow players under the age of 21. 

The law also sets a tax rate of 14.25% for all online sportsbook, and a 9.75% for retail locations. 

The biggest difference between this law and the bills that Kentucky rejected previously was the absence of online poker and DFS.

Who Regulates Sports Betting in Kentucky?

Kentucky’s sports betting law made the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission the regulator of the new industry. They will regulate Kentucky sports betting, including reviewing and approving operator licenses for retail and online sportsbooks. The KHRC has regulated horse betting in Kentucky, which is the state’s largest moneymaker.

While the KHRC has plenty of experience in horse betting, many have questioned their ability to translate that to KY sports betting. Governor Beshear addressed some of those concerns by creating the Sports Wagering Advisory Council (SWAC). The seven-member group will help advise the KHRC to resolve sports betting issues and set regulations.

While the SWAC doesn’t have any power on its own, its ability to advise the KHRC means they will play a key role in the industry’s launch. They recently were responsible for final approval of the state’s betting catalog, and they will play an important role when problems arise.

How Much Money Do Kentucky Sportsbooks Generate?

Month, YearHandle
February 2024$208.4 Million
October 2023$294,950,219
September 2023$45,862,902

Are Kentucky Sports Books Available on Mobile Apps?

Holding Phone IconYes! Each of the eight online sportsbooks will offer their own sports betting app. Here is a quick overview of each sports betting Kentucky app that will go live in September:

SportsbookiOS AppAndroid AppLive BettingLive StreamingInstant Withdrawal  
CaesarsYesYesYesYesYes
FanDuelYesYesYesYesYes
BetMGMYesYesYesYesYes
DraftKingsYesYesYesYesYes
Bet365YesYesYesYesYes
ESPN BetYesYesYesYesYes
CircaYesYesNoNoYes
FanaticsYesYesYesYesYes

How do I use a KY sportsbook mobile App?

Downloading a Kentucky sports betting app is a straightforward and easy process. If you are looking for guidance to get started, just follow these easy steps:

  1. Pick the Sportsbook you’d like to use
    The first step to using betting apps is to choose which sportsbook you’d like to bet with. Be sure to compare a few different options to ensure you don’t miss out on bonus money. 
  2. Download the app
    Once you have selected, it’s time to download the app to your phone. You can search for the Kentucky sports betting apps in the Apple App Store or Google Play store. Once you find the sportsbook, hit the button to download the app for free.
  3. Sign up for an account
    Once you have chosen and downloaded an app, it’s time to register your account. Look for the “register” button and then enter your information when prompted. Be sure to ensure your information is correct before hitting the final “submit” button.
  4. Make a deposit
    Now that you have an account, it’s time to add funds to start betting. Look for the button to deposit funds and select a payment method and deposit amount. Be sure to check for accepted both deposit and withdrawal options, as they are usually not the same.
  5. Place your bets
    Now you are all set to start betting. Click on the sport and league that you want to bet on, and you’ll see a page full of the available betting odds. Select the bet you want, enter the wager amount, and submit it. Always double check that the bet was processed so you don’t miss out on any winnings.

Sports and Leagues You Can Legally Bet On

The Sports Wagering Advisory Council officially signed off on Kentucky’s sports betting catalog. Below are the leagues and sports available for bettors to wager on.

Football

NFL Official LogoNFL 

Football is by far the most popular sport to watch and bet on in the US, and the NFL is the premier league. The league features 32 teams from around the country who compete in a 17-game regular season. While the action makes football fun to watch, their fierce rivalries have help fueled it popularity over the year. There is no shortage of NFL betting sites out there, and Kentucky is no exceptions. If you are looking to bet on the NFL in Kentucky, you can do so from any of their eight football betting sites

Official Super Bowl LVII LogoThe Super Bowl 

The NFL’s Championship game is an unofficial holiday across the country. Even states that don’t have teams come to a standstill when the Super Bowl kicks off. The game has featured some of the most memorable matchups in the history of football, creating a lore that outshines every other sporting event. Super Bowl betting sites offer a ton of options for betting on the big game, including a wide range of props on every aspect of the game. 

NCAA Football Official LogoNCAA Football 

While the NFL is the most popular US sports league, NCAA football is right behind it. The league features teams from schools across the country, including for Louisville and Kentucky. While neither have a long history of success, they still draw plenty of fans and bets at NCAA football betting sites. The season ends with four teams advancing to the College Football Playoffs, but there are dozens of bowl games that stretch from the season’s end to the conclusion of the CFP.

Basketball

NBA Official LogoNBA 

The NBA has enjoyed a lot of success and growth over the last decade, and it has led them to be the second most popular sports in the US. Fans from around the country watch games to see the world’s best players fight it out for an NBA Championship. The NBA has also become one of the most popular sports to bet on, with a wide variety of bet types available at basketball betting sites. The league will be adding a mid-season tournament, giving bettors even more options to win big. With plenty of NBA betting sites to choose from, it’s never been easier to get in on the action.

NCAA Basketball Official LogoNCAA Basketball 

While Kentucky does not have any pro sports teams, they are college basketball fanatics. The University of Kentucky and University of Louisville are the state’s two most popular teams, with both commonly ranked in the Top 25. Kentucky’s sports betting law allows for NCAA basketball betting sites to offer wagers on in-state teams, and many expect it to be one of the most popular options among Kentuckians.

March Madness Official LogoMarch Madness 

Each NCAA basketball season ends with one of the most exciting events in sports, March Madness. The tournament takes the nation’s top teams to compete is a gigantic single-elimination tournament. Each season bettors flock to March Madness betting sites, in addition to filling out their own brackets predicting the winner. Considering how much Kentucky loves college basketball, you can expect March to provide a major revenue boost for the Bluegrass state.

Baseball

MLB Official LogoMLB 

While baseball may no longer be America’s game, it is still a big part of our sports landscape. Their long season has multiple games each night, giving players thousands of games to choose from over the summer and for the prestigious World Series at the end. Baseball has the advantage of being played when other major sports are in their offseason, sending bettors to MLB betting sites while they wait for football to begin. While Kentucky does not have an MLB team, there is no shortage of fans who want to make some money on baseball betting sites.

Hockey

NHL Official LogoNHL 

Of all the leagues on this list, the NHL may have the least appeal for Kentuckians. They do not have a pro team nor a hockey-friendly climate, with most sports fan focusing on basketball and football. However, the Stanley Cup Finals continues to be viewed as one of the best postseasons in the country. NHL betting sites attract bettors from across the country and Kentucky will be no different. With straightforward bet types and low scoring games, hockey betting sites should still see plenty of action in this new market.

Golf

PGA Tour Official LogoPGA Tour 

While the league is now changing, the PGA is still the leading golf league in the US. While not all fans follow each tournament, the PGA’s four Majors always draw massive interest. PGA betting sites offer a variety of bets for tournaments, including on the winner, lowest score per round, and even head-to-head results in tournaments like the PGA Championship. While the league doesn’t have the same flash as the NHL, NFL, MLB, and NBA, they still among the most popular leagues in the US.

LIV Golf

LIV Golf was created to rival the PGA, but the two have now agreed to become partners. LIV has a unique format, with three-day tournaments that focus more on teams than individuals. While they have the best golfers in the world, they have been irrelevant to the US sports landscape. Still, you can find options for LIV on most major golf betting sites.

Motorsports

NASCAR Official LogoNASCAR

While other sports league has a bigger national profile, NASCAR is hugely popular in Kentucky. The state closed their sole NASCAR track in 2020, but that hasn’t stopped fans from traveling around the country to watch their favorite drivers compete head-to-head. NASCAR betting sites offer similar bet types to golf, with bettors being able to wager on the winner, lap leaders, and head-to-head results. Formula 1 may be gaining popularity in the US, but NASCAR still dominated the Kentucky market. 

Formula 1

The open-wheel racing league features some of the fastest (and most expensive) cars in the country. Formula 1 has taken off in the US recently, and sportsbooks have responded by adding their races to their offering. Betting on Formula 1 is the same as NASCAR, with many of the same bet types available. 

UFC Official LogoUFC 

The Ultimate Fighting Championship have turned themselves into the top league for mixed martial arts (MMA). Their product offers an alternative to boxing, with fighters choosing from different fighting methods to use. Their marquee events always result in massive Pay-Per-View numbers and millions being wagered on at MMA betting sites. The league has plenty of sites, blogs, and podcasts that cover it, which means there are plenty of options to learn how to bet and win big at your favorite UFC betting site.

Boxing GloveBoxing 

The golden age of boxing is over, but boxing betting sites still see plenty of wagers for the few marquee matchups that are left. Boxing was once a major part of the American sports landscape, but decades of scandals led to fans turning to other combat sports, such as the UFC. The lack of recognizable name and the continuance of corrupt decisions make this a risky sport to bet on, but you will be able to get on the action several boxing betting sites that will be live on September 28.

Soccer Ball IconSoccer

While Kentucky doesn’t have an MLS team of their own, they have several located close to their borders. That has led to the sport gaining a foothold in the start, and now fans will have a chance to turn their fandom into cash. Soccer betting sites will offer odds for leagues across the globe, giving bettors no shortage of options to get in on the action. 

Tennis

Like soccer, tennis is a sport that has failed to gain the same popularity as it enjoys in Europe. However, every year tennis betting sites see an influx of bets during the sport’s major events. All the sportsbooks that will be launching in Kentucky will offer odds for tennis tournaments, meaning bettors will be able to wager on the sport year-round. 

E-sports

While they haven’t been around as long as the other sports on this list, e-sports have officially become a part of the American sports landscape. More states are beginning to allow wagering on their leagues, and Kentucky is joining them. They will allow wagering on several of the sport’s biggest leagues, including the famous League of Legends.

College Sports Betting in Kentucky

Kentucky’s new sports betting law does allow wagering on college sports, including in-state teams like the Kentucky Wildcats and Louisville Cardinals. While there has much debate over betting on college sports nationwide, the lack of pro teams influenced Kentucky to allow it.

The college sports that will be offered by Kentucky sports books are basketball, football, baseball, and softball. Expect to see football and basketball dominate the college sports betting market, with diehard fans from colleges across the state looking to profit from their knowledge.

There could still be changes to how Kentucky approaches college sports betting, as the catalog was only approved recently, and the launch is not yet here. College sports have seen a major uptick in sports betting scandals, and it could influence how legal betting states like Kentucky handle that betting market going forward.

Prohibited Sports Betting in Kentucky

While Kentucky will be among the states with the fewest restrictions, there are a few markets that will remain prohibited. Kentucky bettors will not be able to wager on the following:

  • Nonsporting events such as award shows or election results
  • Bets involving injuries, penalties, or replay-related selections
  • Disciplinary proceedings

Sports Betting on Kentucky Sports Teams

With Kentucky not having any pro sports teams, fans will be focusing on the state’s college teams. While the University of Kentucky and Louisville are by far the most popular, the state has no shortage of Division one teams.

College Sports Teams in Kentucky

The following schools have teams that compete in the NCAA’s top division in basketball and football:

  • Eastern Kentucky University
  • University of Kentucky
  • University of Louisville
  • Morehead State University
  • Murray State University
  • Northern Kentucky University
  • Western Kentucky University

Retail Sports Betting in Kentucky

Retail sports betting is set to launch in Kentucky on September 7, with seven operators licensed to open. If you are looking to start betting on sports before the online operators are launched, you can visit one of these brick-and-mortar sportsbooks:

The Red Mile

The famous Lexington harness-racing track has partnered with Caesars to open a full retail sportsbook. The track was in danger of being closed in 2021 when they were forced to shutter the track during a legal fight. The case was resolved, allowing the historic track to resume operations. The new sportsbook is set to open on September 7 and will be the only retail sportsbook within 60 miles, making it a go-to destination in central Kentucky.

Churchill Downs & Satellite Location

Churchill Downs is one of, if not the, most famous track in the US. The home of the Kentucky Derby is set to open their own sportsbook when the industry launches. Churchill Downs Incorporated (CDI) will operate the sportsbook both at the track and at their satellite locations. While a physical sportsbook is still being built, kiosks will be up and running on September 7 to allow customers to bet on games.

Derby City Gaming

This Louisville based sportsbook promises to be one of the best in the state. Derby City has built a 43,000 square-foot sportsbook in the heart of the city. While they wait for the final touches to be completed, they will have betting kiosks up and running by September 7. Derby City is also owned by Churchill Downs Incorporated, meaning they will operate this sportsbook as well. 

Ellis Park Henderson

Another CFI property, Ellis Park Henderson will have betting kiosks live by September 7. However, this will be a much smaller operation. The track will have just five betting kiosks along with TVs to watch game. The plan for now is to stick with the betting kiosks, as the track has a seating capacity of just 6,000. 

Turfway Park

Like Ellis Park, Turfway is a CDI property that will also offer betting kiosks. The track was built in 1959 and it is just 10 miles away from Cincinnati. It was ranked as the eleventh best track in North America by the Horseplayers Association of North America. The track is a destination for fans, and their races draw a lot of action from around the country. 

Oak Grove

This track and hotel are in Oak Grove and are a part of the massive CDI network. However, unlike the two tracks above, Oak Grove will open with a larger set up. They will offer 20 betting kiosks along with TV’s and seating for fans to come watch games. They will be kicking off the NFL season in style with unique promotions that be accessed through the kiosks

How Does Sports Betting in Kentucky Compare to Other States

While Kentucky had some of the strictest laws against gambling, they surprised many by setting looser restrictions for the industry. They only prohibit very uncommon bets, meaning you can bet on almost anything you would be able to in any other state. That could help them draw bettors from neighboring states who have more strict rules around sports betting.

Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Tennessee all neighbor the Bluegrass State and offer some form of legal sports betting. Below we will compare Kentucky to those four markets, focusing on things like gaming catalog, regulations, and how the revenue they have seen.

Illinois State Black SilhouetteIllinois Sports Betting

Illinois was one of the first states to legalize sports betting once PASPA was overturned in 2018. They have enjoyed a robust market, thanks in part to neighboring Wisconsin not legalizing online sports betting.  Sportsbooks in the Land of Lincoln brought in around $750 million in 2022, which the state taxes at 15%. That led to a 51% increase in tax revenue from 2021.

The biggest difference between Illinois and Kentucky is the age requirement. Illinois set the minimum age at 21 years old, while Kentucky has set it at 18. They also do not allow betting on in-state college teams, which Kentucky will allow. Outside of those two rules, both states have very similar rules. 

Illinois has used the revenue from their industry to fund public programs, including things like education and economic development. Kentucky has gone a different direction, instead choosing to add the revenue to the Kentucky Permanent Pension Fund. The Fund helps ensure all public pensions are fully funded.

Indiana State Black SilhouetteIndiana Sports Betting

Indiana stunned a lot of people by quickly legalizing sports betting in May 2019. They launched retail sports betting in September of that same year, with online Indiana sports betting launching a month later. The early launch led to a massive surge in the state, but that has faded as their neighbors have begun to legalize the industry. Still, Indiana is on pace to see a handle over $4 billion in 2023.

Unlike Kentucky, Indiana has set their minimum age requirement at 21. They also do not allow wagering on e-sports, something that Kentucky has included in their recently betting catalog. These two states do both allow betting on college sports, though Indiana prohibits college prop bets. The Hoosier state also has stricter rules around live betting, make it less common than it will be in Kentucky.  

The state has one of the lowest tax rates in the country at 9.5%, but that has stopped Indiana sports betting revenue from outperforming expectations. 

Ohio State Black SilhouetteOhio Sports Betting

Ohio sports betting was officially launched on Jan. 1, 2023, despite the law being passed in December of 2021. The market has quickly become one of the largest in the country, with a handle of over $4.1 billion so far in 2023. That number will skyrocket this fall when the NFL kicks off, which could put them in the top three in revenue for 2023.

Ohio’s sports betting rules are very similar to Kentucky. They offer an almost identical bet catalog, but Ohio does have more restrictions on prop bets. The Buckeye State only allows prop bets when a team or player is involved, meaning you can’t bet on things like a coin flip or other popular Super Bowl props. 

Like Indiana, Ohio had one of the lowest tax rates for sportsbooks, but they doubled it to 20% in July. That makes is one of the larger rates in the country, but the early returns from the Ohio market still make it a premier destination for sportsbooks. 

Tennessee State Black SilhouetteTennessee Sports Betting

The Volunteer State launched their online sports betting market back in November of 2022, but the retail market remains illegal. Tennessee surprised many by legalizing any form of sports betting in 2019, as they had previously had strict rules against gambling. The market is now regulated by the Sports Wagering Advisory Council, who took over for the Tennessee Education Lottery in 2022.

Unlike Kentucky, Tennessee set their minimum sports betting age at 21. They offer a similar bet catalog as the Bluegrass State but prohibit prop bets on all college athletics. Unlike many other states, Tennessee does not put a cap on sports betting operator licenses.

When the market first opened, the state established a 20% tax and required all sportsbooks to maintain a 10% hold. That changed in July 2023, when Tennessee became the first state to tax sportsbooks on their betting handle instead of revenue. This change was made after several operators failed to be the 10% monthly hold, leading to the state losing money 

Are Online Casinos Legal in Kentucky?

Colored Casino Chips IconNo, casino gambling in Kentucky remains illegal, and it doesn’t seem that it will be changing any time soon. So online casinos are illegal in the state of Kentucky. We saw a few different bills that have attempted to start the legalization process, but the momentum just isn’t there.

In fact, sports betting bills couldn’t garner enough votes when online poker was included. As soon as that was dropped, the next bill easily passed.

Kentucky is very strict about unregulated online casinos, with major punishments for those that violate the law. That means it is wise to avoid unregulated casinos, as you would have no recourse if an issue arose.

FAQs

Is sports betting in Kentucky legal?

Yes, retail betting will begin in the Bluegrass State on September 7 while online betting will go live on September 28. Bettors will have access to a large betting catalog that includes a betting on in-state college teams. Kentucky requires all players to be physically located in the state and at least 18 years old. However, many sportsbooks plan to set their own age minimum at 21.

Is gambling legal in Kentucky?

No, non-sports gambling in Kentucky remains prohibited. When the state was attempting to legalize sports betting, online poker was included on several bills that failed. Once online poker was removed, sports betting was able to quickly gain enough support to become legal. While there are still some advocates for legalizing gambling in Kentucky, there is little reason to believe things will change anytime soon.

Which operators will offer Kentucky sports betting online?

Kentucky has issued eight temporary sports betting licenses for their September launch. Those include Caesars, FanDuel, BetMGM, DraftKings, bet365, ESPN Bet, Circa, and Fanatics. Their law allows for up to 27 Kentucky sports betting online licenses, meaning the market could get a lot more crowded over the next few years.

Are any sportsbook promos available before the launch?

Yes! Kentucky betting sites have already released special pre-registration sportsbook promos. Anyone who signs up before the September 28 launch will have access to free bonus bets, boosting their account before the industry even goes live. Once online sports betting begins, more promos and bonuses will be available.

Where can I bet on sports in Kentucky?

Kentucky will have seven retail sportsbooks go live on September 7. They will be located at popular racetracks in the state, including the history Churchill downs. While many will only use betting kiosks, there are a couple of large brick-and-mortar sportsbooks being built. Caesars will operate one at the Red Mile, but the other six will all be run by Churchill Downs Incorporated. 

How old do I have to be for KY sports betting?

You must be at least 18 years old to take part in sports betting in Kentucky. Most states have set the age at 21, making Kentucky unique. However, several sportsbooks have confirmed they will still set the minimum age at 21. If you are 18-20 years old and want to bet on sports, visiting one of the retail locations would be the best option.

Are daily fantasy sports legal in Kentucky?

Yes, but DFS was legalized separately from sports betting. The state considers DFS and sports betting to be two separate industries, and the legalized the former in 2018. Both DraftKings and FanDuel, the two largest DFS operators in the country, will include links for their DFS page on their sportsbook platforms, making them a one-stop-shop.

Is live betting allowed in Kentucky?

Yes, live betting as included in the approved betting catalog. Their rules around in-game betting is looser than their neighbors, which could lead to some bettors crossing state lines to take advantage.

Does Kentucky allow betting on college sports?

Yes, and the Bluegrass state will be home to some of the most laxed betting laws for college athletics. Bettors will be allowed to wager on in-state teams, as well as prop bets on collegiate events. The only restrictions revolve around betting on things such as penalties or player injuries.

Does Kentucky allow betting on e-sports?

Kentucky became just the thirteenth state to allow bettors to wager on e-sports. While the leagues available to be bet will be limited, several prominent ones will be available. Given the growing popularity of the sports, expect to see Kentucky sportsbooks offer more leagues once the market is up and running.

What is the tax rate Kentucky charges sportsbooks?

Kentucky will assess a 14% tax rate to the revenue generated from sportsbooks. That is close to the national average and shouldn’t drive away any interested operators.

Do I have to be a Kentucky resident to bet?

No, anyone above the age of 18 and located within Kentucky’s border is allowed to bet on sports. Bettors will need to verify their identity and use geolocations software to wager. If you are between the ages of 18-20, be sure to check out the minimum age required for each sportsbook before making your choice.

Who regulates sports betting in Kentucky?

The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission is the head regulator of sports betting for KY sports betting. However, they will now be supports by the state’s new Sports Advisory Wagering Council. The group has filled their seats, and you can expect their name often as KY sports betting grows.

Are their sports betting guides available for other states?

Yes! You can find betting guides for each state at USAlegalbetting.com by navigating to the “states” tab. Simply select the state you wish to learn about, and you will see a guide that has been meticulously researched by our experts. 

Is horse betting allowed in Kentucky?

Yes, but it is not included in the sports betting law. Kentucky is known for having some of the best horse racing tracks in the country, so the industry is considered to be separate from sports betting. That means the two cannot be combined into one sportsbook, leading to sites like DraftKings and FanDuel to offer separate platforms for horse betting.