Kentucky is home to some of the strictest gambling laws in the United States. Casino gambling and tribal gambling are both illegal, and with that, Poker is outlawed. The only legal gambling types for Kentucky residents to participate in are horse betting and the lottery. Having said that, with the shifting sports betting landscape in the United States, we are likely to see things change in the near future.
Kentucky Sports Betting News
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*As Kentucky continues to toy with the idea of legalization, many of the most popular US bookmakers remain out of reach for sports bettors. DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM, Caesars, PointsBet, BetRivers, Fox Bet, and Unibet, which are often thought of as some of the biggest bookmakers, are not accessible for bettors residing in Kentucky.
Table of ContentsKentucky Sports Betting Timeline Can I bet on sports in Kentucky? Betting on Kentucky Sports Teams Kentucky Racebooks Top Online Sportsbooks for Betting in Kentucky
A Brief Timeline of the Legality of Kentucky Sports Betting
- January 28, 2023 - This Thursday in Frankfort, Kentucky, a bill was introduced that could potentially re-legalize sports betting in the state this year.
- January 4, 2023 - In Kentucky, lawmakers are debating legislation that would allow online sports betting, poker and paid fantasy competitions.
- December 28, 2022 - The Kentucky State House is reviewing a bill that would legalize online sports betting, poker, and fantasy leagues with cash prizes.
- November 13, 2022 - The state of Maryland is set for the launch of online sports betting, with the hope for approval from the Maryland State Lottery & Gaming Control Agency.
- October 5, 2022 – Sports betting remains illegal in the state of Kentucky, despite pushes for legalization from gambling advocates.
Kentucky Sports Betting Timeline
Kentucky has had a fairly short history with sports betting over the years. We take a look back on what has happened.
A Brief History of Sports Betting In Kentucky
There have been many attempts to reverse the ban on commercial and tribal casinos in the state of Kentucky, with no luck. Kentucky residents have to venture to neighbouring states to get a taste of casino gambling, like Indiana or Illinois who have riverboat casinos that can be costly to board.
While Sports Betting in Kentucky hasn't really gotten off the ground in the past, there is hope that things will change as is the case in many states across America.
Sports Betting Bill In 2020 and Beyond
So, with all of these restrictions, is it likely that sports betting will be legalized in Kentucky anytime soon? We assume not in 2020 as a recent bill sponsored by Representative Adam Koenig failed this past March. This means that sports betting could possibly not be voted on until the 2022 term unless there is a new and improved bill in 2021 that would be a much tougher route.
The bill in question, House Bill 137, would have legalized sports betting, online poker, and daily fantasy sports in the state of Kentucky, and it was promising for a time, as Governor Andy Beshear and Senate Majority Leader Damon Thayer were supportive of this bill. The Republican members blocked the bill, even though Koenig had enough votes, he still needed to get the bill to a place where it can be voted on.
There is a short 30-day session in 2021, where Koenig could bring his bill back to life, but it is more unlikely to have sports betting legalized in Kentucky than if he were to put the bill forth on an even year like 2022.
Can I bet on sports in Kentucky?
No, currently you cannot bet on sports in Kentucky. However, they didn’t update their online gambling laws when they banned fantasy betting. There is no rule or law that prohibits online gambling, including sports betting at offshore online sportsbooks.
So yes, you can bet on sports in Kentucky - online at a safe and secure online sportsbook. Many are afraid of online sportsbooks because some are indeed sketchy and have been known to advertise via computer pop-ups that we’re all trained to never click. Which makes sportsbooks seem scammy and unsafe.
We have sportsbook reviews here at OnlineSportsBetting, that we ourselves have compiled subjectively, that we have used ourselves and continue to use to place our bets week-after-week. We would never recommend a sportsbook that isn’t safe, secure, and user-friendly.
Betting on Kentucky Sports Teams
There are no professional sports teams in Kentucky unfortunately, but they do have a few collegiate teams that gain a lot of traction in the community – one, in particular, is worth betting on.
The Kentucky Wildcats men’s basketball team is one of the top teams in college basketball. They have coach John Calipari currently at the helm, and during his nine years as coach, the team only missed the NCAA Tournament once. Missing March Madness once isn’t such a big deal when you have two National Title appearances and a title within eight years as coach.
Kentucky is home to one of the biggest sporting events in the world. The Kentucky Derby.
The state plays host to the main event in horse racing, every year, since 1875. The Kentucky Derby is a huge tourist attraction and holds a prize purse of over $2 million. Held at Churchill Downs, in Louisville Kentucky, they have a dedicated betting racebook called Twin Spires, that allows you to bet on horses year-round.
While there are no casinos or sportsbooks in the state of Kentucky, you are able to place horse bets at any of the horse racing tracks. Any of these tracks could be homes to sports betting offerings if sports betting is legalized in the state of Kentucky.
- Churchhill Downs in Louisville
- Ellis Park in Henderson
- Keeneland Association in Lexington
- Kentucky Downs in Franklin
- Turfway Park in Florence
There are also some very good options for off-track betting in Kentucky.
Top Online Sportsbooks for Betting in Kentucky
Online sportsbooks are a dime a dozen. Many of which are confusing to understand all of the rules and stipulations. You want to sign up at a sportsbook that you feel comfortable using, that has great bonuses and promotions and even loyalty programs if you plan to wager a lot.
The deposit options available can make or break a relationship between a bettor and a sportsbook. You want to be able to use a convenient and safe deposit method when betting on sports. Many people don’t use a laptop when betting, so mobile-friendliness or a great sports betting app are important to have as an option – especially if you’re on the go and in a pinch to place a quick bet before the game starts.
We have taken the research out of the equation for you. We have compiled in-depth sportsbook reviews that can help you make an educated decision before registering at a sportsbook. We chose the top sportsbooks and wrote subjective reviews to help you choose the right online sportsbook for you.