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Kentucky Sports Betting: Claim over $3,300 from 5 Online KY Sportsbooks

After years of discussion and debate, legal Kentucky sports betting is officially here. Seven Kentucky sports betting apps and online sites — including DraftKings, FanDuel, and Caesars — are live and offering premier Kentucky sportsbook promos.

Best Kentucky sports betting sites

#1

Bet $5, Win $150 in Bonus Bets

Features

  • Top-tier app experience.
  • Same Game Parlays and SGP+.
  • Extensive promos and odds boosts.

FanDuel Review

To claim the welcome offer, new FanDuel KY users must register and download the mobile app to make their first deposit of at least $10. Then, place your initial wager of $5 or more on any moneyline market. If you win, you'll get $150 in bonus bets. The reward will appear in your account within 72 hours of placing the qualifying bet. The bonus bets must be used within seven days, or they will expire.  

Offer ends on Dec. 28, 2023, at 11:59 p.m. ET.

21+ and present in KY. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER.

Features

#2

$1,000 First Bet on Caesars

Features

  • Earn Caesars Rewards from betting activity.
  • Live streaming of NFL games.
  • User-friendly mobile app.
Bet Now

Caesars Review

The welcome offer for new U.S. customers is a $1,000 first bet on Caesars. Ensure you use the active Caesars Sportsbook promo code — SBRBONUS1000 — to claim the offer.      

Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER.

Features

#3

Bet $5, Get $150 in Bonus Bets

18+. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-BETS-OFF

Features

  • Extensive live betting options.
  • More markets than any other sportsbook.
  • One of the best apps in the industry.
Bet Now

bet365 Review

bet365 is currently allowing new KY users to choose one of two welcome offers: A bet $5, get $150 in bonus bets promotion or a $2,000 First Bet Safety Net. Before making your selection, sign up, use code SBRBONUS, and deposit a minimum of $10 to your account.  

To receive your Bonus Bets, you must be aged 18 and over and verified by bet365. Problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER

Features

#4

Get up to $1,000 in Bonus Bets

Features

  • Live in 15 states
  • Extremely powerful brand history and recognition
  • FanCash reward system is great for sports fans

Fanatics Sportsbook Review

Fanatics Sportsbook has launched its app in a dozen states already, with plans to expand to more in the near future. Fanatics is poised to be a major player in the sports betting industry.

Features

#5

No Sweat First Bet up to $1,000

Features

  • Lots of promos and odds boosts.
  • Wide range of sports and bet types.
  • Seamless integration with DFS.

DraftKings Review

New customers with DraftKings KY can place an initial deposit and wager of $5 or more on any sports market to receive $200 in bonus bets, win or lose. The reward will be delivered as eight (8) $25 bonus bets that are non-withdrawable, non-transferable, non-refundable, and will expire after seven days. No DraftKings Kentucky promo code is required.

Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER. 18+

Features

#6

Bet $5, Get $150 in Bonus Bets

Promo code: SBRBONUS

Features

  • Some of the best live-betting odds.
  • Casino Operator of the Year in 2021 and 2022.
  • Earn MGM Rewards from betting activity.
Bet Now

BetMGM Review

First-time bettors — 21+ only — who register with the sportsbook using BetMGM Kentucky bonus code SBRBONUS can deposit $10 or more and place a qualifying wager on any sports market. Should the wager lose, you’ll get your stake back, up to $1,500, as non-withdrawable bonus bets. The bonus bets will arrive in your account within 24 hours of your losing wager settling, and you will have seven days to use them.

Remember: If you wager less than $50 and lose, you’ll acquire one bonus bet. But if you wager over that amount, you’ll get your bonus bets in 20% denominations.

Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER.

Features

Affiliate Disclosure: Sportsbook Review may receive advertising commissions for visits to a sportsbook betting site.

21+. Gambling can be addictive, please play responsibly

Yes, Kentucky sports betting is now legal. On March 31, 2023, Governor Andy Beshear signed House Bill 551 into law, setting the stage for it to take effect on June 28, 2023. After nearly five years of back and forth, KY bettors finally have access to regulated sportsbooks — retail wagering launched on Sept. 7, 2023, while online wagering went live on Sept. 28, 2023.    

The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission oversees all sports betting activity in the state. Each of KY’s nine horse racing tracks — all of which will eventually house retail sportsbooks — can partner with up to three mobile sports betting operators, paving the way for 27 possible online sportsbooks.

Currently, seven online betting sites are active in Kentucky: Barstool, bet365, BetMGM, Caesars, DraftKings, Fanatics, and FanDuel.

Kentucky sports betting key developments and updates

Dec. 11, 2023: The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission approves nine sports wagering service provider permits for 2024. They are the same nine who were already authorized on a temporary basis when online betting launched in Sept. 2023. 

Nov. 14, 2023: ESPN BET launches in Kentucky for the first time, plus 16 other legal betting states across the country. 

Oct. 10, 2023: Circa Sports plans to bring its in-person wagering experience to Kentucky Downs

Oct 6, 2023: Circa Sportsbook receives authorization to launch its online and retail sports betting platforms in Kentucky. However, no date is set.

Oct. 5, 2023: Gov. Beshear reveals that KY online sportsbooks saw over $50 million in wagers in the first week.

Sept. 29, 2023: Per GeoComply, 2.02 million geolocation checks took place in Kentucky during the state's first full day of legal online sports betting. 

Sept. 28, 2023: Online Kentucky sports betting officially goes live at 6 a.m. ET. Seven sportsbooks — Barstool, bet365, BetMGM, Caesars, DraftKings, Fanatics, and FanDuel — open their virtual doors.

Additionally, Circa Sports announces a partnership with ECL Corbin and its Cumberland Run race track. No launch date is provided.

Sept. 27, 2023: Online Kentucky sports betting is a day away. Seven of the eight licensed sportsbooks are expected to launch, with Circa Sports as the lone holdout.

Sept. 22, 2023: Matt Jones, a Kentucky sports radio host, will place the ceremonial first bet with DraftKings' online sportsbook on Sept. 28, 2023, at The Mint Gaming Hall in Cumberland.

Sept. 21, 2023: Legal online KY sports betting is officially a week away, and the state is on track for a smooth launch.

Additionally, the governor's office announces that more than $4.5 million has been wagered at retail sportsbooks over the state's first two weekends of legal betting and that over 60,000 online sportsbook accounts have been registered.

Sept. 7, 2023: Legal retail Kentucky sports betting goes live at 10 a.m. ET. Gov. Andy Beshear places the state’s first wager at Churchill Downs.

Additionally, online sportsbooks begin accepting deposits from pre-registered users.

Aug. 31, 2023: The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission approves the official KY sports wagering catalogue. Some notable market inclusions are cornhole, chess, cricket, the XFL, and the X Games.


Aug. 23, 2023: Gov. Andy Beshear announces he will place the state's first legal sports bet at Churchill Downs Racetrack at 10 a.m. on Sept. 7, 2023.

Aug. 22, 2023: The KHRC approves temporary online sports betting licenses for the seven operators that submitted an application on August 10, as well as Fanatics. 

Additionally, DraftKings announces it will permit KY bettors who are 18 years or older to utilize its sports betting platform.

Aug. 17, 2023: Gov. Beshear announces that bettors eager to register with mobile sportsbooks early can begin doing so with approved platforms on Aug. 28, 2023.

Aug. 10, 2023: The KHRC announces that seven operators have submitted applications for online sports betting licenses: bet365, BetMGM, Caesars, Circa Sports, DraftKings, FanDuel, and PENN Entertainment (ESPN BET).

Aug. 7, 2023: BetMGM announces a partnership with Revolutionary Racing Kentucky to enter the KY market on Sept. 28, 2023, and begin offering online sports betting. The operator also plans to open a brick-and-mortar sportsbook at Sandy's Racing and Gaming.

Aug. 1, 2023: As with Caesars before it, FanDuel announces that it will require all Kentucky bettors to be at least 21 years old to use its product, despite state law opting for a minimum sports betting age of 18.

July 27, 2023: Churchill Downs reveals it will offer legal sports betting at its horse racing machine (HRM) venues on the first day they are legally allowed to.

July 21, 2023: The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission has begun filling the 14 additional positions allotted to help regulate retail and online sports betting.

July 13, 2023: Gov. Andy Beshear signs an executive order to create a “Sports Wagering Advisory Council” that will help oversee retail and online sports betting sites in Kentucky.

July 10, 2023: The KHRC unanimously approves the proposed sports betting regulations for the state. Retail wagering will begin on Sept. 7, 2023, followed by online betting on Sept. 28, 2023.

July 6, 2023: The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission announces a July 10, 2023 meeting at the Red Mile track to begin discussing legal framework for online sports betting, now that HB 551 is officially law.

June 29, 2023: The Kentucky sports betting bill (HB 551) officially goes into effect, 90 days after the governor signed it into law. The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission now has six months to establish a framework and grant licenses to online sportsbooks.

June 20, 2023: Jonathan Rabinowitz, chairman of the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, announces that stakeholders are inspecting a draft of sports betting rules and that the KHRC tentatively expects an early July meeting to discuss and potentially approve those rules.

May 16, 2023: Caesars announces it's partnering with Keeneland and The Red Mile in Lexington for both mobile and retail sports betting. Additionally, Caesars will limit sports betting to those 21 or older, despite KY law allowing anyone over 18 to wager.

May 6, 2023: Mage and jockey Javier Castellano, at 15-1 odds, come from behind to win the 2023 Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs.

April 18, 2023: The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission meets to discuss the process of drafting regulations for legal sports betting. A deadline has yet to be set for the rules to be put in place.

April 12, 2023: While multiple politicians have suggested that Kentuckians will be able to place sports bets come football season, the KHRC has not backed those claims.

March 31, 2023: Governor Andy Beshear signs HB 551 into law, which will take effect in June 2023. Retail and online sports betting are set to arrive in late 2023 or early 2024.

March 30, 2023: The Senate votes to advance HB 551, 25-12. The bill now heads to the desk of Gov. Beshear for final approval.

March 29, 2023: DraftKings launches its DK Horse App ahead of the Kentucky Derby.

March 13, 2023: The Kentucky House passes HB 551 by a vote of 63-34, sending it onwards to the Senate.

Feb. 22, 2023: Rep. Michael Meredith introduces House Bill 551, which would legalize sports betting in the state.

April 14, 2022: House Bill 606 fails to garner momentum in the Senate and does not pass. Kentucky will go without legal sports betting in 2022.

Jan. 9, 2021: House Bill 241 is introduced. Although hopes are high, the bill ultimately fails.

May 2018: The United States Supreme Court repeals the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), permitting individual states to decide whether or not to legalize sports betting.

Kentucky sports betting promos and bonuses

Seven online sportsbooks are active in the KY market, including DraftKings, Caesars, and FanDuel. With Kentucky sports betting brand new, most platforms are opting to tender newbie-friendly bet and get rewards as sign-up bonuses.

Here is the full list of available offers, along with their attached promo codes:

18+ and present in KY. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER.

Top Kentucky sports betting sites

Legal Kentucky sports betting sites and apps are officially live as of Sept. 28, 2023. Seven options currently exist for KY bettors, including some of the most popular names in the industry. And with up to 27 total online sportsbooks permitted to operate in the Bluegrass State, KY bettors should be satiated for years to come.

Here is what sportsbook operators in Kentucky have to offer new and existing bettors, followed by our list of the best options:

Kentucky sportsbookBest known for
bet365Superb live betting
BetMGM"King of Parlays"
CaesarsLucrative welcome bonus
DraftKingsIndustry leader
ESPN BETUnique personality-driven promos
FanDuelHighly-rated mobile app
Fanatics SportsbookApparel partnerships and rewards

DraftKings Kentucky 👑

With the operator’s history of entering new markets swiftly, it's no surprise that DraftKings Kentucky is part of the first batch of legal Kentucky sportsbooks to launch. Now synonymous with the industry, DraftKings boasts a silky-smooth betting app and some of the best sportsbook promos and bonuses to attract new players and keep existing ones satisfied. You don’t need a DraftKings Kentucky promo code to claim its welcome offer.

Aching to learn more about DraftKings Kentucky? Read our DraftKings review.

FanDuel Kentucky 🔵

FanDuel has built one of the country’s most prolific online sports betting platforms and makes our lists for the best Kentucky Derby betting sites and horse racing betting sites. FanDuel Kentucky bettors can enjoy an elite user experience that includes a wide range of sports markets, one of the top betting apps available, easy-to-access banking methods, best-in-class customer support, and industry-leading security. No FanDuel Kentucky promo code is required when signing up for the iconic sportsbook.

To discover more about what FanDuel brings, dig into our detailed FanDuel review.

Caesars Kentucky 🏛

Often considered the top-rated sportsbook in several states, Caesars’ global brand has made waves thanks to launching a successful online sports betting product around the U.S. Now that Kentucky regulators have licensed the long-time gaming company, Caesars Kentucky is offering a lucrative first bet insurance welcome bonus — one of the top Kentucky sports betting promos and bonuses — alongside its premier loyalty rewards program. Make sure to enter the active Caesars Kentucky promo code — SBRBONUS1000 — when registering.

For more expert insight and analysis, give our Caesars review a read.

bet365 Kentucky 🟢

bet365 is a U.K.-based company that debuted in the U.S. when it launched in New Jersey in 2019. While still only available in a handful of states — Kentucky was the sixth of what is now nine states that bet365 is legal in — bet365 offers competitive odds, excellent boosts, and two superb welcome bonuses. New KY customers can use the bet365 Kentucky bonus code SBRBONUS to nab either a bet $5, get $150 in bonus bets offer OR a $1,000 First Bet Safety Net.

Check out our in-depth bet365 review to learn more about one of Kentucky's premier sportsbooks.

Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER

BetMGM Kentucky 🦁

BetMGM has branded itself the “King of Parlays,” centered around offering more of the popular bet type than any other sportsbook. Not only can Kentuckians find plenty of markets for building their ideal wagers, but live in-game betting — BetMGM is one of the top live betting sites — seamless banking, consistent promotions, and early cash out options help BetMGM stand out amongst its peers. The current BetMGM Kentucky bonus code — SBRBONUS — is required to claim the operator's new-player offer.

Check out our thorough BetMGM review to uncover more about the sportsbook.

With legal online and retail sports betting now available, Kentuckians have a plethora of betting options to dig into. Currently, seven operators are available via their online sites and apps, and four are active in numerous physical locations.

Kentucky’s expected online and mobile sportsbooks

Online sportsbookRace track partnerLaunch date
ESPN BETEllis Park Henderson and OwensboroSept. 28, 2023
bet365Sandy's Gaming and RacingSept. 28, 2023
BetMGMSandy's Gaming and RacingSept. 28, 2023
CaesarsThe Red MileSept. 28, 2023
DraftKingsCumberland RunSept. 28, 2023
Fanatics (PointsBet)Oak Grove Racing and GamingSept. 28, 2023
FanDuelTurfway ParkSept. 28, 2023

Land-based KY sportsbooks

Retail sportsbookLocationLaunch date
BetMGMSandy's Gaming and RacingSept. 7, 2023
CaesarsThe Red MileSept. 7, 2023
DraftKingsCumberland RunSept. 7, 2023
KambiChurchill Downs, Derby City Gaming, Ellis Park Henderson, Turfway Park, Oak GroveSept. 7, 2023

Kentucky sports betting neighbors

Six of Kentucky’s seven border states have also legalized sports betting. Here are some key pieces of information on each if you’re eager to wager while travelling outside the Bluegrass State:

Illinois

Illinois sports betting
🚀 Launch dateMarch 9, 2020
🏈 Number of online sportsbooks7
📱 Remote registrationYes
💰 Tax rate15%

Indiana

Indiana sports betting
🚀 Launch dateSept. 1, 2019
🏈 Number of online sportsbooks13
📱 Remote registrationYes
💰 Tax rate9.5%

Ohio

Ohio sports betting
🚀 Launch dateJan. 1, 2023
🏈 Number of online sportsbooks17
📱 Remote registrationYes
💰 Tax rate33%

Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania sports betting
🚀 Launch dateNov. 17, 2018
🏈 Number of online sportsbooks14
📱 Remote registrationYes
💰 Tax rate36%

Tennessee

Tennessee sports betting
🚀 Launch dateNov. 1, 2022
🏈 Number of online sportsbooks11
📱 Remote registrationYes
💰 Tax rate20%

Virginia

Virginia sports betting
🚀 Launch dateJan. 21, 2021
🏈 Number of online sportsbooks15
📱 Remote registrationYes
💰 Tax rate15%

The Kentucky Chamber of Commerce reported that between March 1 and March 30, 2023, more than 1 million sports bettors in Kentucky tried to place a wager via online sportsbooks and sports betting apps they signed up for in neighboring states. Due to geofencing software employed by operators, those KY bettors were prevented from making any bets, but those numbers could translate into thousands of dollars in tax revenue this time next year.

How to start betting in Kentucky

For some, it may be a futures ticket on the University of Kentucky Wildcats to win the NCAA men’s basketball championship. For others, it may be placing a wager on the Kentucky Derby or betting on the Cincinnati Reds to win their next game. Whatever your draw to betting, you can wager to your heart’s content now that Kentucky sports betting sites and Kentucky sportsbook apps are live.

We’ve put together a simple step-by-step guide to help prepare you for placing your first legal bet.

1. Select a licensed Kentucky sportsbook 

The first step in choosing a betting site is to find a regulated sportsbook that caters to your needs — comparing FanDuel vs. DraftKings is a good place to start. Kentucky provides a handful of options, and evaluating the welcome bonus, in-game offerings, variety of bet types, and customer support is essential before making your decision. 

Once you have chosen a sportsbook, download its associated betting app to your phone for the most seamless experience.

2. Register online

The next step is to sign up for a new account, which you can do on a desktop or via the mobile app. The operator will require you to present basic personal information such as your full name, address, email address, date of birth, and social security number — the latter helps verify your identity.

After that, you’ll be asked to create a unique username and password. Passwords should be at least eight characters long and combine upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters.

3. Deposit and claim a bonus

Following registration, it’s time to head to the cashier to make a first deposit. Kentucky online sportsbooks accept major credit and debit cardsbank wire transfersthird-party services like PayPal, and other e-wallets. Remember to enter any promo codes required to claim welcome bonus perks.

4. Select and finalize your bet

With funds filling your sportsbook account, you can look around and dissect the available betting markets. Add your preferred choices to your bet slip and submit it to finalize your wager. Novice players may want to focus on what they know best — like Kentucky and Louisville betting lines and the three most common bet types in moneylinespoint spreads, and point totals — while veterans can stretch their wings with same-game parlayslive in-game bettingteasers, and futures.

5. Withdraw your winnings

If you win your bet, you’ll likely want to request a withdrawal and enjoy the spoils. Head back to the cashier to make your request. It typically takes even the best online sportsbook for payouts up to five business days to drop funds in your preferred account. Keep in mind that requesting a physical check to be mailed to your residence may take up to 15 business days.

Kentucky sports betting handle

Kentucky regulators released a report on Sept. 21, 2023, on the early performance of the state’s brick-and-mortar sportsbooks. Retail betting had been legal for two weeks at that point, resulting in an impressive $4.5 million in handle.

With online wagering now live, Kentucky’s numbers are expected to spike and provide a sizeable chunk of revenue that will be redirected into state projects.

2023

MonthHandle
September$45.9 million
October$295 million
November-
December-
Annual total $340.8 million

What’s missing from Kentucky sports betting?

While the Kentucky sports betting landscape is fairly generous, there are some other markets and events retail and online sportsbooks may or may not be permitted to offer.

Politics

Federal law does not allow online and retail sportsbooks to offer odds on political events. So, betting on politics in Kentucky is illegal now that sports betting apps have launched.

Entertainment award ceremonies

Entertainment award ceremonies, like the Oscars, Grammys, and Emmys, are not mentioned in Kentucky’s official sports wagering catalogue. Therefore, you cannot wager on these events.

Esports

Esports are legal to wager on now that retail sports betting is live in Kentucky. Those who know the ins and outs of video game tournament betting will have a leg up on legal KY sportsbooks.

What about daily fantasy sports?

For all the effort put into legalizing online sports betting in Kentucky, daily fantasy sports (DFS) contests remain in a gray market, meaning you can wager on them at outlets like DraftKings and FanDuel.

Kentucky college sports betting 🎓

Former Rep. Adam Koenig, known as Kentucky’s “sports betting OG,” not only spearheaded several bills over the years but created amendments to remove the ban on in-state college betting. Now, Bluegrass State bettors have the opportunity to wager on the likes of the Kentucky Wildcats or the Louisville Cardinals.

Betting on football is also now a reality for KY bettors. With the NFL season underway, the state’s sportsbooks are offering odds on all the juicy matchups.

Kentucky sports leagues and teams to bet on

Although Kentucky isn’t home to any major professional sports teams, plenty of action occurs on the Kentucky Wildcats and Louisville Cardinals. Regional pro sports franchises, such as the Cincinnati Reds, the Cincinnati Bengals, the Indianapolis Colts, the Memphis Grizzlies, and the Nashville Predators, should satiate those looking to wager on one or more of the big four leagues.

But don’t forget — whether you bleed Wildcats blue or Bengals orange, wagering with your brain rather than your heart is vital. It’s great to support the home team but don’t let emotional attachment lead you when filling out a bet slip. Learn how to manage your bankroll and do your homework on each matchup, paying attention to weather forecasts, injury updates, and depth chart changes.

NFL 🏈NBA 🏀MLB NHL 🏒
Cincinnati BengalsMemphis GrizzliesCincinnati RedsNashville Predators
Indianapolis Colts

Due to the popularity of professional horse racing in the state, namely the Kentucky Derby, local bettors may also emphasize other niche sports like F1 racing and Major League Soccer.

Sportsbook by category

Kentucky sports betting law

Legal Kentucky sports betting underwent a two-phase rollout courtesy of HB 551. Retail wagering at land-based sportsbooks began on Sept. 7, 2023, while online wagering started on Sept. 28, 2023.

Review these highlights of the legal Kentucky sports betting landscape:

• The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) regulates sports betting. 
• Only those 18 or older are permitted to bet on sports in Kentucky. 
• Legislation authorizes up to 27 online sports betting licenses. 
• Kentucky's nine racing tracks will all house retail sportsbooks. 
Seven sportsbooks are live in the state.
• Legal college sports betting in Kentucky includes wagering on in-state teams
• The state taxes individual bettors at a 6% rate on winnings of over $5,000. 

Kentucky sports betting taxes

When House Bill 551 was newly passed, Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear wasted no time broadcasting via Twitter how it would benefit taxpayers, noting that the state would “keep those [sports betting] dollars to support our roads and bridges, schools and communities.”

Now, existing horse tracks opening retail sportsbooks must pay an initial license fee of $500,000 and kick in $50,000 for annual renewals. Online operators that partner with the nine racing tracks must pay a $50,000 license fee and $10,000 for yearly renewals. Retail sportsbooks are taxed at a rate of 9.75%, while online sportsbook revenue are taxed at 14.25%.

For individual bettors, winnings of more than $5,000 are taxed at 6% by the state and 25% by the federal government. It’s important to keep an accurate account of your betting activity to reduce your tax burden.

Legal sports betting in Kentucky is projected to generate $23 million in annual tax revenue. The estimate is based on neighboring Tennessee’s market, which saw $68 million in tax revenue for 2022.

Kentucky sports betting quick facts

↪️ KY apps launch dateSept. 28, 2023
🚀 KY retail launch dateSept. 7, 2023
➡️ Legal betting age18+
🔔 KY regulatorKentucky Horse Racing Commission
▶️ Sports betting licensesUp to 27
📱 Online sports bettingYes
🎰 Retail sports bettingYes
🖥️ Online casinosNo
🃏Online pokerNo
🏆 Sports betting apps7
🌎 State population4.5 million
💵 Projected annual tax revenue$23 million

Responsible Kentucky sports betting

The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission oversees all sports betting activity in the region since it has “demonstrated a long and successful history of regulating wagering.” The responsibilities and visions — such as horse racing betting integrity — of the KHRC translate easily to Kentucky’s new sports betting landscape.

The KHRC reviews operator applications, grants licenses, performs audits, enforces laws, and issues fines as necessary. It also leads initiatives to encourage responsible betting and curb problem gambling. KY sports betting law banks 2.5% of tax revenue to put towards problem gambling resources, treatment, and prevention.

National U.S. gambling helpline: 1-800-GAMBLER

List of Kentucky sports betting resources

The Kentucky General Assembly: Website for the state legislature.

Kentucky Horse Racing Commission: Website for KY's sports betting regulator.

Kentucky Council on Problem Gambling: Website for responsible gaming resources.

Sportsbooks to avoid in Kentucky

Kentucky bettors now have safe and legal online sportsbooks available to them. That should make resisting the urge to register with an offshore sportsbook an easier task. Neither federal nor state governments regulate such operators, which have been known to commit identity theft, fraudulent activity, and scams.

With the first batch of legal Kentucky betting sites live, each has been thoroughly reviewed and critiqued by the state’s governing body, has paid significant fees to earn its license, and has had to provide detailed plans for how it runs its operations, making it as secure as possible. 

Here are a few examples of illegal offshore sites and the troubles they’ve caused customers:

BetOnSports ❌ TopBet ❌ 131Sport ❌
Blacklisted since 2006Over a dozen reported confiscated winningsBlacklisted since 2007
Grand jury indictmentHistory of scams
Over $16 million owedAbout $45,000 owed

Kentucky sports betting FAQs

Is sports betting legal in Kentucky?

Yes, sports betting is legal in Kentucky. Betting on horse racing had already been legitimized, but retail sports betting has been available since Sept. 7, 2023, and online sports betting since Sept. 28, 2023.

When will sports betting be legal in Kentucky?

Legal retail wagering began in Kentucky on Sept. 7, 2023, and online wagering started on Sept. 28, 2023.

Is betting on horse racing legal in Kentucky?

Yes. You can legally bet on horse racing in Kentucky at the following nine racetracks: Churchill Downs, Ellis Park, Keeneland Race Course, Kentucky Downs, Oak Grove Racing and Gaming, Turfway Park, Bluegrass Downs, The Red Mile, and Thunder Ridge.

Is online sports betting legal in Kentucky?

Online sports betting is available in Kentucky; sportsbooks opened their virtual doors on Sept. 28, 2023.

When will online Kentucky sports betting go live?

Legal online Kentucky sports betting launched on Sept. 28, 2023.

Where can I bet on sports in Kentucky?

Currently, you can wager on sports in Kentucky via retail locations and seven online sportsbooks.

What sportsbooks are legal in Kentucky?

Seven legal online sportsbooks are active in Kentucky: bet365, BetMGM, Caesars, DraftKings, ESPN BET, Fanatics, and FanDuel.

Do you have to live in Kentucky to bet online?

No. Now that legal sports betting has come to Kentucky, you don't need to live in the state to bet online. However, you do need to be physically within KY’s borders.

How do you place a sports bet in Kentucky?

You can place a sports bet in Kentucky via retail locations or online sites and apps. There are seven active sportsbooks to choose from.

Are sports betting apps legal in Kentucky?

Legal sports betting apps launched in Kentucky on Sept. 28, 2023.

What is the minimum age to bet in Kentucky?

You must be at least 18 years old to participate in sports betting in Kentucky. However, some online sportsbooks are sticking with their 21+ mandate they use in other states.