Guide to Online Gambling in Kentucky: The Best Kentucky Gambling Sites for 2021

Gambling in Kentucky
Sports Will Be Legal: TBD
Daily Fantasy Legal Since: 2019
Casino Illegal
Poker Illegal
Lottery Legal Since: 1989

Kentucky Daily Fantasy Sports

The legality of daily fantasy betting in Kentucky (DFS) is in something of a grey area in Kentucky as a bill to legalize the activity was thrown out after failing to receive enough support from the Senate. Until further rulings have been made, Kentuckians are allowed to participate in daily fantasy sports competitions. We will keep this page updated should there be any changes in the law so check back to see if the status of DFS in Kentucky has changed.

Why You Can Trust
  • Our team has a deep understanding of the Kentucky gambling laws and follow the changes in the legislation and the activity of the Kentucky Legislature.
  • We monitor the gambling-related news and upcoming developments of the industry in the state by following the biggest local online media like The Courier-Journal and the Lexington Herald-Leader
  • We write free guides on different aspects of gambling so that you have all the information you need to make the most of your time and money. We track a lot of US sites, so you can check our current 2021 lists for video poker casinos and slot sites.

Gambling Laws in Kentucky

Gamblers in Kentucky have a few gaming options. The most popular place for Kentuckians to gamble is at the state’s world-famous racetracks. There is no shortage of horse race fever in the state that hosts the Kentucky Derby. However, pari-mutuel betting isn’t the only gaming option at the track. Kentucky law allows slot games at racinos (casinos at racetracks). Racinos like Kentucky Downs carry hundreds of slot games and a handful of bingo games, which can be played when at the track. Since games of chance are illegal in KY, racetracks are the only locations, at which to play these games. There are also no tribal casinos in the state.

This ban on casino gaming extends to the internet and includes online casinos and poker rooms. In short, there are no legal methods for KY citizens to gamble online. As a result, my team and I can’t recommend any Kentucky online casinos. We will closely monitor the changes to Kentucky law and will update the page should anything change.

Kentucky Online Sports Betting

Like other forms of gambling in the state, sports betting is currently illegal in KY. Residents and visitors cannot legally wager on football, basketball or other sports other than horse racing. In 2019, a sports betting bill has been submitted to the House, but has yet to appear on the committee’s calendar. The bill seeks to legalize sports betting in the state and seeks to place this form of betting under the control of the Kentucky Lottery corporation. However, until the bill passes, I cannot recommend any Kentucky sports betting sites. Still you can see all the information that I and our team gathered about Kentucky sports betting.

Kentucky Online Casino Sites

I previously mentioned that Kentuckians can play slots at one of the state’s handful of racinos, however, if you are on this site, you are probably seeking information about online Kentucky casino options. Unfortunately, the state of Kentucky is pretty strict when it comes to its online gambling laws. Online casinos are currently illegal in the state, and in 2008 over 100 casino websites were seized by the state, which declared that they constituted illegal forms of gambling. We can’t recommend any Kentucky online casinos but will be on the lookout for any shifts in the state’s stance towards online gambling sites. Until then, enjoy the races.

Online Poker in Kentucky

Although some people consider poker to be a game of skill rather than one of chance, the KY legislature doesn’t see it this way. Players in Kentucky are able to play online poker, but only for free and there are currently no legal avenues to play online poker for real money in Kentucky.

Kentucky Lottery

Although Kentucky has some of the US’s strictest gambling laws, the state is somewhat ahead of the curve when it comes to online lottery options. Many states have some sort of lottery, but most do not allow residents to purchase tickets or play online. In KY, players can both play and buy tickets online. Although the Kentucky Lottery has been around since 1989, online sales have earned the state more money than was previously possible. The state’s online lotto page offers residents downloadable lotto phone apps, unique deposit promotions and instant-play games. In addition, state residents can also purchase tickets online for popular draw lotteries like the Powerball, Mega Millions, Lucky for Life and Kentucky Cash Ball lotteries. You can read more on all of the above plus more in our dedicated Kentucky lottery page.

History of Gambling in Kentucky

Since the inaugural Kentucky Derby in 1875, the state of KY has maintained a close connection to the sport. Pari-mutuel betting is immensely popular in the state, but this wasn’t always the case. In 1931, a ban on horse racing was proposed, but the state courts vetoed it. Today, betting on horse races is still legal. However, other forms of gambling remain strictly forbidden outside of a few charitable/fund-raising games, the Kentucky Lottery and slots at race tracks.

Kentucky Gambling History
1875 The first Kentucky Derby was held this year.
1931 Some try to ban horse race betting, but the motion was vetoed by the state’s high court.
1989 Kentucky launches its own state lottery.
2008 State seizes control of poker sites to crack down on the online gambling activity.
2011 A bill is proposed with the aim of expanding the locations, at which one can play slots. Bill, however, is shot down.
2018 A bill is proposed with the aim of regulating and legalizing sports betting within the state during the 2019 session.

Kentucky State Facts

It is almost impossible to choose one thing that Kentucky is known for. Once famous for its dueling, the state has since emerged as one of the most prestigious horse racing destinations in the world. In addition, some of the most iconic baseball bats of all time are produced in KY. Although there are many ways to have fun in KY, the state has strict laws that ban online gambling. To illuminate the state’s policies, we have compiled some important facts about Kentucky below.

Facts About Kentucky
Population 4,468,402
Min. Income $1,256.67
Gambling Location Kentucky Downs
Gambling Commissioner
Spoken Languages English 94.8%, Spanish 2.4%, Other 2.8%
Local Sports Team
Tax Authority
State Law
Gambling Winning Tax 5%
State Website
Famous Gamblers Kurt Jewell

Gambling Age in Kentucky

Kentucky has a few legal forms of gambling, and these come with their own age restrictions. To play or bet in one of the state or national lotteries, or on a horse race, players must be at least 18 years of age. However, to enter a racino such as Kentucky Downs, players must be at least 21 years old. It is common for states to have two minimum ages, especially in states that sell alcohol on casino floors.

  • Online Gambling Age:
    To place bets on horse races or to play the state lottery, you must be 18+ years of age. Players must be 21+ to play slots at racinos like Kentucky Downs.
  • Alcohol Age
    The legal drinking age in Kentucky is identical to the national drinking age. You must be 21 or older.
  • Weed Age
    Currently, possessing weed, even for medical reasons is against the law in the state of Kentucky.

Responsible Gambling and Addiction Prevention

In Kentucky, nearly $997.3 million were spent on legalized gambling. Gambling is a significant part of the state’s economy. However, KY is one of 10 U.S. states that doesn’t designate any public funds to address problem gambling. The Kentucky Council on Problem Gambling, is the state affiliate to the National Council on Problem Gambling. You can visit the site above to find info on helplines, as well as other resources that can help those in need.

Upcoming Regulation and Expected Changes

It is a slow process to change laws in America. Kentucky law is not immune to the lethargy of policy change. In short, the state’s laws that ban online gambling look as though they are here to stay, at least for the time being. However, a sports betting bill seeks to legalize the activity in 2019. My team and I will update this page, should any of the state’s laws change. Until then, players must either go to racinos or to nearby states with riverboat gambling for their casino fix. Alternatively, you can regularly check the legal online gambling in the USA guide for updates or details regarding the legislation in neighbouring states.

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