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Kentucky Sports Betting 2023: Legal Online Sports Betting Has Launched in Kentucky



Sep. 28 2023, Updated 9:00 a.m. ET

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Get ready, Kentucky! Exciting changes are coming to the Bluegrass State. Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear signed House Bill 551 into law earlier this year, paving the way for legal online sports betting across the state to launch on September 28th.

Kentucky Sports Betting: Is It legal?

Absolutely. Kentucky sports betting is fully legal. While retail sports betting took its first steps in Kentucky on September 7th, 2023, online sports betting made its grand debut on September 28th. Currently, Kentucky sportsbooks have some enticing promo code offers for all. Ensure you grab these promos before they expire!

What Kentucky Sports Bettors Need to Know

Kentucky sports betting provides a comprehensive spectrum of options for bettors, encompassing both in-person and online platforms. House Bill 551 licenses Kentucky’s nine horse racing tracks, enabling them to set up retail sports betting lounges on their premises. Kentucky Speedway, a renowned motorsports venue, also has the green light to house a retail sportsbook.

The advent of online sports betting amplifies the ease and accessibility for bettors in Kentucky. Each racetrack can collaborate with up to three online sportsbook operators, potentially ushering in 27 online sportsbooks within the state.

Post the July 10th convention, the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission disclosed several key updates on sports betting regulations in Kentucky, including the Kentucky Standards for Sports Wagering.

In terms of the sports and events available for wagering, the legislation includes professional and collegiate sports. This allows Kentucky residents to place bets on favorites like basketball, football, baseball, hockey, among others. However, high school sports remain off the table.

To uphold the integrity and fairness of sports betting, the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission has instituted measures and supervisory frameworks to deter potential malpractices or match-fixing incidents. The rollout of sports betting in Kentucky is driven by a vision to offer a regulated, transparent, and enjoyable betting ecosystem for all patrons, enhanced by the availability of attractive Kentucky sportsbook promo codes.

Taxwise, online operators will face a 14.25% tax rate, while in-person sports betting ventures will be taxed at 9.75%. These funds will bolster the state’s coffers and be redirected towards vital projects, such as the permanent pension fund.

In essence, Kentucky's sports betting landscape amalgamates the best of both worlds – traditional sportsbook lounges and contemporary online platforms, catering to the diverse preferences of its bettors.

Kentucky Sports Betting Apps

Kentucky's sports betting legalization ushers in a golden era for multiple KY sportsbook apps. Industry giants like FanDuel, Caesars, BetMGM, and bet365 have all launched in Kentucky. You can learn more about the excellent Kentucky sports betting promos available from all four of those sportsbooks below.

bet365 Kentucky

The bet365 KY mobile app is now live as of September 28. bet365's enticing pre-launch bonus code activates the "Bet $1, Get $365 in Bonus Bets" promotion. With its roots in the UK from 2000, bet365, often dubbed the “world’s preferred sportsbook”, has aggressively expanded its US base, consistently rolling out the most appealing sign-up bonuses and promo codes.

DraftKings Kentucky

DraftKings Kentucky, a hallmark in the sports betting realm, is among the pioneers in KY. Their formidable reputation in daily fantasy sports and success stories in multiple states affirm their credibility. Kentucky residents can look forward to a bevy of innovative features and a soon-to-be-announced Kentucky sports betting promo code from DraftKings.

FanDuel Kentucky

FanDuel is celebrated for its user-centric design, competitive odds, and vast sports coverage. Their app's highlights, like the same-game parlays, augment the thrill quotient for bettors. Stay tuned for an exclusive promo code from FanDuel Kentucky designed exclusively for local bettors.


BetMGM Kentucky

BetMGM Sportsbook, a collaboration between MGM Resorts International and Entain, is also poised to make significant inroads in Kentucky. Known for its exhaustive sports listings and dynamic betting options, BetMGM Kentucky guarantees an all-encompassing betting journey. Noteworthy features like the “edit my bet” tool, granting users the latitude to tweak their bets, underscore their commitment to user satisfaction. Kentucky residents can enjoy a great offer with bonus code RADARCOM for the KY launch.

Top Teams, Sports, and Events for Kentucky Sports Betting

Brace yourselves for some wild betting action, starting with the king of Kentucky sports—college basketball. The state goes absolutely bonkers for hoops, with die-hard fans rooting for their beloved University of Kentucky Wildcats and University of Louisville Cardinals. When NCAA basketball season hits, it's like a tornado of excitement swirling through the state. March Madness, anyone?

But hold your horses, because we can't forget the most prestigious horse racing event in the whole darn country—the Kentucky Derby! Horse racing is practically in Kentucky's blood, and when that Derby day comes around, everyone's got their money on the line. Whether you're a seasoned horse racing pro or just feeling lucky, betting on the Kentucky Derby is a heart-pounding experience. It's all about trying to predict the outcome and cheering your horse to the finish line.

Now, let's talk about that pro sports fever in Kentucky. The proximity to teams like the Cincinnati Bengals (NFL), Cincinnati Reds (MLB), and Nashville Predators (NHL) has got Kentuckians fired up for some professional sports betting. When you're a fan of these teams, betting on their games takes the excitement to a whole new level. It's like adding an extra sprinkle of spice to your game-day experience. Touchdowns, home runs, and goals—Kentucky's got it all.

And of course, we can't forget about basketball, both on the pro and collegiate level. With NBA teams like the Indiana Pacers and the Memphis Grizzlies nearby, Kentucky bettors have plenty of chances to put their money where their mouths are. And let's not overlook the high-profile college basketball programs right within the state. It's a basketball lover's paradise, with opportunities to wager on games all year round. Slam dunks and buzzer-beaters, baby!

Not to worry, the options don’t stop with what’s above. Sportsbooks in Kentucky offer a smorgasbord of options. We're talking football, baseball, hockey, soccer, golf—you name it, they've got it covered. Moneylines, point spreads, over/under, prop bets, and even live betting—there's something for everyone. Get ready for a comprehensive and thrilling sports betting experience that'll keep you on the edge of your seat.

Horse Racing in Kentucky

Kentucky and horse racing—a match made in sporting heaven! We're diving into the thrilling world of hooves pounding the track and the thunderous cheers of the crowd. Get ready to be swept away by the rich heritage and heart-pounding action that is Kentucky horse racing.

This state has been horse racing obsessed for ages, and it's no wonder why. Kentucky is renowned worldwide for its top-notch thoroughbred breeding, world-class training facilities, and the most prestigious racing events you can imagine. And let's not forget the crown jewel—the legendary Kentucky Derby!

Horse racing has been in Kentucky's DNA since the early 19th century, capturing the hearts of the locals and drawing fans from far and wide. Today, the state boasts a lineup of prominent racetracks that are the stuff of legends. We're talking about Churchill Downs, Keeneland, and Turfway Park, just to name a few. These tracks are where dreams are made, and history is written.

Now, let's turn our attention to the one and only Churchill Downs, nestled in the vibrant city of Louisville. This racetrack is an absolute icon, and it's where the magic of the Kentucky Derby happens. Known as the "Run for the Roses," this race is the crown jewel of American horse racing and the first leg of the coveted Triple Crown. With its international allure, the Kentucky Derby brings together the crème de la crème of thoroughbred horses, jockeys, and trainers. It's a breathtaking display of athleticism and tradition that captivates audiences around the world.

But wait, there's more! We can't forget about Keeneland, a gem located in Lexington. This picturesque racetrack is a favorite among racing enthusiasts. Its historic grandstand and stunning surroundings create an ambiance like no other. Keeneland hosts high-quality race meets in the spring and fall, attracting both seasoned horse racing aficionados and casual fans. This track is all about horsemanship and the true spirit of the sport.

Horse racing in Kentucky isn't just about entertainment—it's a vital player in the state's economy. The industry supports a multitude of jobs, from trainers and jockeys to grooms and stable staff. And let's not forget about the breeding and sale of thoroughbred horses, which contribute to Kentucky's thriving agricultural sector. It's a win-win for both the sport and the state.

In recent years, Kentucky has expanded its racing offerings, adding some variety to the mix. Tracks like Red Mile in Lexington have embraced harness racing, a thrilling form of competition where Standardbred horses pull a driver in a sulky. It's like a whole new world of excitement, attracting a fresh audience and adding a dash of diversity to the racing scene.

So, whether you're a die-hard racing fan or just looking for an exhilarating experience, Kentucky horse racing has got you covered. Get ready to witness the power, grace, and sheer spectacle that only these majestic creatures can deliver. It's a journey you won't want to miss!

Kentucky Daily Fantasy Sports Providers

Daily Fantasy Sports (a.k.a. “DFS”) has taken the nation by storm, and Kentucky is right in the mix. Thanks to the passage of House Bill 259 in 2018, DFS contests are fully legal and regulated in the Bluegrass State. It's a whole new way to get your sports fix, and the big players like DraftKings and FanDuel are here to make it happen.

Now, let's talk about how DFS differs from traditional sports betting. In DFS contests, it's all about creating virtual dream teams using real players. You'll go head-to-head with other participants, and your success is determined by the actual statistical performance of those players in real games. It's like having your own fantasy league, where the players' real-world performances are the name of the game. Forget about single game outcomes—DFS is all about the player's journey.

Since Kentucky legalized DFS, residents have jumped on board with excitement. You've got a smorgasbord of sports to choose from—basketball, football, baseball, hockey, golf, and so much more. It's the ultimate showcase for sports fans to flex their knowledge and skills while potentially winning some serious cash prizes. It's like putting your sports expertise to the test and reaping the rewards.

Now, let's talk about the heavy hitters in the Kentucky DFS scene—DraftKings and FanDuel. These platforms are all about giving you the best experience possible. With user-friendly interfaces, a variety of contest formats, and some seriously enticing promotions, they know how to attract and keep players coming back for more. And the best part? You can enjoy all the DFS action from the comfort of your own home or on-the-go with their mobile apps. It's like having a fantasy sports playground right at your fingertips.

But hey, it's important to keep in mind that even though DFS is legal and widely available in Kentucky, there are still regulations and restrictions in place. Operators have to obtain a license from the Kentucky Department of Charitable Gaming and follow specific guidelines to ensure player protection and fairness. It's all about making sure you have the best and safest DFS experience possible.

So, Kentucky, get ready to unleash your sports expertise and dive into the world of DFS. It's a whole new ballgame, and you've got the skills to dominate. Show off your fantasy prowess, win some cash, and enjoy the thrill of the game. The DFS revolution is here, and Kentucky is leading the charge!

Online Casino in Kentucky

Hold onto your poker chips, Kentucky, because we're about to dive into the world of online casinos in the Bluegrass State. Brace yourselves, though, because the news isn't quite what you'd hope for. Casino gambling, including online casinos, is a no-go in Kentucky. Yep, you heard it right.

If you're dreaming of the same online gambling options available in places like New Jersey, you'll have to pack your bags and head to neighboring states. Kentucky isn't rolling the dice on that one just yet. But fear not, there are some alternatives for those craving a taste of casino-style fun.

Enter the world of social and sweepstakes casinos. We're talking about hotspots like WinStar, LuckyLand, and Chumba. These bad boys offer you the chance to play with virtual coins and even score some jackpot prizes. The best part? You don't have to risk any real money. It's like the thrill of the casino without the financial stakes.

But hold your horses, because we need to lay down a warning. Offshore gambling sites? Not recommended. These places lack proper regulation and oversight, so they're not exactly a safe bet. Stick to the legit options, folks.

Now, let's talk about what is legal in Kentucky. Pari-mutuel advance deposit wagering platforms like TVG and Twin Spires, as well as the Kentucky Lottery, are the only online gambling options that get the green light. You can have some fun with horse racing and lottery games, but the casino world remains off-limits.

Efforts to legalize online casino gambling in Kentucky haven't exactly been at the top of the lawmakers' to-do list. While neighboring states are making moves in the online gambling arena, Kentucky seems to be playing it safe. Discussions have been had about the legalization of retail and online sports betting, but the future of online gambling laws in Kentucky is still uncertain. So, keep your poker face on for now.

So, Kentucky, when it comes to online casinos, you might have to wait a bit longer. But fear not, there are other ways to get your gaming fix. Just remember to stick to the legal options and play it smart. The day of online casinos in Kentucky may come, but until then, keep spinning those virtual reels and hoping for that jackpot win.

Kentucky Sports Betting Timeline

We've seen some major moments and legislative efforts that have shaped the path to legalized sports betting in the Bluegrass State. Buckle up and hold on tight as we take you through the key events.

  • 2017: Kentucky introduces the first sports betting bill, which proposes regulation of the industry under the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission. However, the bill does not progress further in the Kentucky legislature.
  • May 14, 2018: The United States Supreme Court makes a landmark ruling in the case of Murphy v. NCAA, overturning the federal ban on sports betting (PASPA). This paves the way for states to legalize and regulate sports betting individually.
  • 2019: Multiple sports betting bills, including those related to daily fantasy sports and online poker, are introduced in Kentucky but make limited progress in the legislative process.
  • September 15, 2020: The Kentucky Supreme Court declares Historical Horse Racing (HHR) machines unconstitutional in the state, as they fail to meet the criteria for pari-mutuel wagering.
  • 2022: House Bill 606, a sports betting bill, gains traction in Kentucky. It passes the House with a vote of 58-30 but does not receive approval in the Senate. The bill sets the stage for future efforts to legalize sports betting in the state.
  • June 28, 2023: House Bill 551 is signed into law, legalizing online sports betting in Kentucky. The legislation requires sportsbooks to be operational within six months of the effective date, targeting a launch date by December 28, 2023.
  • July 3, 2023: FanDuel Sportsbook partners with Churchill Downs, becoming the second sportsbook to announce plans for a mobile sports betting operation in Kentucky, following Caesars.
  • July 10, 2023: The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission holds a special meeting to finalize regulations for sports betting in the state. This step includes establishing guidelines, standards, and licensing procedures for operators, ensuring a fair and regulated sports betting environment.
  • September 7, 2023: Retail sports betting goes live in Kentucky.
  • September 28, 2023: Online sports betting goes live in Kentucky. provides exclusive sports betting content to, including sports betting promo codes and bonus offers to help new players get in on the action. Please wager responsibly.

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About the Author

Mac Douglass |

Mac Douglass is the senior sports betting editor at Cipher Sports Technology Group, Formula 1 previewer at, tennis commentator at, and regular sports betting contributor to Radar Online. Having graduated cum laude with an English degree from the University of San Francisco, Mac relocated to New York in 2018 and has been covering sports betting ever since. Follow him on twitter @mac_douglass.


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