Following the passing of HB 551 in March 2023, sports betting is now legal in Kentucky. Starting June 28, 2023, Kentuckians will be free to engage in sports wagering without legal issues. The sports betting market is expected to be fully operational within six months after this new law comes into effect. This development constitutes a key milestone for the Bluegrass state, which has now joined over 30 other states that have already legalized sports betting in the United States.

Kentucky Sports Betting News

Feb 13, 2024

There Remains Moral Opposition to the Legalization of Kentucky Sports Betting

Read this article

Jan 11, 2024

The Legalization of Kentucky Sports Betting May be Helping Horse Racing Industry

Read this article

Dec 3, 2023

Kentucky Sports Betting Launch is Already Impacting Other States

Read this article

Nov 29, 2023

Kentucky Sports Betting is Already Starting to Expand

Read this article

*Although sports wagering is currently legal in Kentucky, no local sportsbooks have been established as of now. DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM, and Unibet, which are often thought of as some of the biggest bookmakers, are not yet accessible for bettors residing in Kentucky. In the meantime, you can easily access offshore sportsbooks online without any legal complications.

A Brief Timeline of the Legality of Kentucky Sports Betting

  • January 16, 2024 - Four months into legalized sports gambling, both Kentucky counselors and some bettors express concerns regarding the ease of online wagering.
  • December 21, 2023 – The Kentucky Governor confirms exceeding expectations in early sports betting tax revenue.
  • December 1, 2023 – Kentucky's sports betting advisory council greenlights PENN's transition from Barstool to ESPN Bet, concurrently broadening the state's wagering catalog.
  • November 3, 2023 - The Kentucky Lottery extended its contract with Scientific Games for four more years to continue managing customer relations.
  • October 5, 2023 - The popular sportsbook Circa Sports is expanding into Kentucky through a new partnership with ECL Corbin, LLC. Circa will open retail sportsbooks at Cumberland Run and The Mint Gaming Hall owned by ECL.
  • September 5, 2023 - The Sports Wagering Advisory Council under KHRC has granted its endorsement for an initial betting markets catalog in preparation for the state's upcoming launch on September 7th.
  • August 2, 2023 - Churchill Downs, owner of the Kentucky Derby, aims to launch sports betting at its racetrack on September 7th when wagering launches in Kentucky.
  • March 30, 2023 - Kentucky recently passed House Bill 551, legalizing sports betting within the state. During the final hours of the legislative session, the Senate made the decision.

Kentucky Sports Betting Timeline

Kentucky has had a fairly short history with sports betting over the years. We take a look back at 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. Even after the legalization of sports betting, Kentucky still prohibits the existence of conventional brick-and-mortar casinos where dealers operate table games. That said, there are three racetracks in Lexington, Louisville, and Franklin that feature gaming machines resembling slots and other similar games.

Sports Betting Bill In 2023 and Beyond

With the recent legalization of sports betting in Kentucky through HB 551, Kentucky residents will be able to place bets both at sportsbooks and retail locations. The new law, set to take effect by the end of June, 2023, paves the way for a regulated sports wagering market.

Although sportsbooks are yet to launch in the state, the legislation mandates that the industry be operational within six months of the effective date. This means sports enthusiasts can anticipate opportunities to place bets on professional leagues and collegiate sports, excluding high school sports. The law grants sports betting licenses to the state's nine horse racing tracks, allowing for the potential of up to three online platforms per track. This opens up the possibility of having 27 online sportsbooks in Kentucky, offering a range of options for betting.

Can I bet on sports in Kentucky?

As of now, sports betting is not yet accessible in Kentucky, despite its recent legalization. The launch of operational sportsbooks may take some time, potentially extending over several months. However, while awaiting the launch of local bookies, Kentucky residents have the option to engage in online sports betting through reputable offshore betting sites.

These sports books offer a safe platform for placing bets on sports events. It is understandable that concerns may arise regarding the legitimacy and security of online sportsbooks, given the presence of less reputable alternatives that employ intrusive advertising tactics.

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.

Offshore sportsbooks often provide better odds and bonuses compared to their US counterparts. We believe taking advantage of these benefits by opting for offshore sportsbooks is a smart move while awaiting the launch of local sports betting options in Kentucky.

kentucky betting sites

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.

Kentucky sportsbooks

Kentucky Racebooks

While there are no casinos or sportsbooks in the state of Kentucky as of now, you are able to place horse bets at any of the horse racing tracks. All of these tracks could be home to sports betting offerings once sports betting is launched in the state of Kentucky.

  • Churchill Downs, Louisville
  • Oak Grove Racing & Gaming, Oak Grove
  • The Red Mile, Lexington
  • Turfway Park, Florence
  • Ellis Park, Henderson
  • Keeneland, Lexington
  • Kentucky Downs, Franklin

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.

Legal Sports Betting States