As it stands, players can continue to play daily fantasy sports in Kentucky without having to worry about any legal repercussions.
- You can always expect the best from us as we make sure that we only use trusted sources like the Lexington Herald-Leader and The Courier Journal.
- We can help you out with a lot more than just sports betting. We also have dedicated teams across the gambling industry, so we can offer you advice on everything from slots to poker.
- We keep up to date on any changes in gambling laws by closely following the Department of Charitable Gaming and the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission.
- Lexington Herald-Leader
- The Courier Journal
- Department of Charitable Gaming
- Kentucky Horse Racing Commission
Online Daily Fantasy Sports in Kentucky – Overview
When it comes to gambling in Kentucky, the state is a bit of a mixed bag If you look at just the racinos (racetrack and casino combos) then you might come away thinking that the gambling industry in Kentucky is alive and thriving. There are nine racinos in the state, with more than 2,000 slot and gaming machines.
However, these numbers are deceptive. Gambling in Kentucky is actually still largely frowned upon. The state does not have any stand-alone casinos, nor any sports betting facilities. Betting in most forms is not allowed within the state. A small number of online operators are allowed but they are all licensed and linked exclusively to the pari-mutuel betting industry.
As we mentioned earlier, daily fantasy sports are a gray area in Kentucky – which works in your favor if you’re wanting to play. While no bills have been passed to actively make DFS legal, it has also not been actively outlawed. This means that you can play DFS without breaking any laws. So, let’s take a look at some of the sports on offer.
Online Daily Fantasy NFL – Always Popular
The NFL fantasy league is probably the most popular DFS league that there is. It’s easy to play too; you can draft a new lineup whenever you want, as long as you stay within your budget. Then you can enter into a public contest, or a private one against friends. Most platforms pay out as soon as the contest is finished, and they run both daily and weekly so there is always something to enter.While Kentucky no longer has a team in the NFL, the state it still pretty invested in the sport since this year sees five University of Kentucky alumni playing in the league. That is the highest number of draft picks since 1979, when eight players were chosen. This year, Benny Snell Jr., George Asafo-Adjei, Josh Allen, Lonnie Johnson Jr., and Mike Edwards will play in the NFL.
Online Daily Fantasy MLB – Batter up!
Like in the NFL, Kentucky does not have its own team in the league, but numerous players from Kentucky colleges have been drafted to play. This year, seven Kentucky-born players are playing in the MLB: Jake Snider, Drew Campbell, Shay Smiddy, Carson Coleman, Ryan Shinn, Dalton Stambaugh, and Alex Garbrick.In MLB fantasy, you can draft a lineup of two pitchers and eight batters and enter them into a competition. When your players make plays on the mound or at the dish, you score points. The more points you score, the higher you climb on the leaderboard – as simple as that.
Online Daily Fantasy MLS – Get Off the Bench
In a game of MLS fantasy, you are given a $50,000 budget to draft your eight-player team. Each team much include players from at least three different teams, so you can’t just rebuild your favorite soccer team! It’s worth weighing up players’ cost versus what they could be worth to your team. For example, forwards often carry the highest salaries but have the advantage of being able to win points by scoring goal or assisting.Although Kentucky doesn’t have a team in the MLS, this is still a state interested in soccer. Louisville City FC plays in the United Soccer League.
Online Daily Fantasy NHL – Super Cool
Ice hockey is a hugely popular sport across America and Canada, so of course there is a large fantasy league for it as well. You have to draft your team of eight skaters and a goalie while staying within budget. You can then score points in various categories: goals, assists, shots on goal, etc. The goalies can win you points as well for saves, wins, and shutouts. By climbing the leaderboard, you can win yourself a cash prize which will be paid out as soon as the competition is over.
College Basketball – A Slam Dunk
College basketball is extremely popular in Kentucky, although there has been a recent surge in the quality of the University of Louisville football team too. The Western Kentucky University’s man’s basketball program is one of the ten most winning in the history of the NCAA. There is an ongoing battle for the most popular team in college sports in Kentucky, with the team “Red or Blue?” often heard. This refers to the primary colors of the two main universities: the University of Kentucky (blue) and the University of Louisville (red).
Timeline of Daily Fantasy Sports Legislation
Kentucky is well-known for its horse racing due to the famous Kentucky Derby taking place in Louisville every year. However, there is more to this state than just horse racing. Let’s take a look at the history of gambling and daily fantasy sports in Kentucky to get a better idea of how it got to where it is today. For more information on gambling in this state, you can visit our dedicated Kentucky gambling page.
|1875||The first ever Kentucky Derby horse race took place in Louisville on 17th May 1875.|
|1920||Pari-mutuel betting becomes more popular as more and more racetracks open up around the state.|
|1930||Numerous illegal gambling establishments are set up in Kentucky, including the now famous Beverly Hills Supper Club.|
|1931||There is a proposal put forward to ban horse race betting, but it is vetoed by the high court.|
|1989||On 4th April 1989, the first state lottery is held in Kentucky, which still runs today.|
|1992||Several laws around gambling are relaxed if they have a charitable aim. E.g: fund-raising bingo|
|2008||Kentucky state tries to close 140 poker operators by seizing their domains. However, most are returned to their owners.|
|2010||PokerStars, Full Tilt, Absolute Poker, and Ultimate Bet are all accused of gambling offenses – two are shut down.|
|2010||A bill aiming to provide slot machines in numerous locations around the state fails to pass.|
|2019||A bill in support of sports betting gains momentum and may make such betting legal in the state.|
Legal Daily Fantasy Betting Age in Kentucky
Kentucky gambling laws define gambling as ““staking or risking something of value on the outcome of a contest, game, gaming scheme, or gaming device which is based upon an element of chance, in accord with an agreement or understanding that someone will receive something of value in the event of a certain outcome.” Exempted from this law are the state lottery, horse racing, and instant racing machines. Charities are allowed to operate bingo games and raffles if it is for fundraising. As we have discussed, DFS is not counted as illegal gambling.
For any type of legal gambling in Kentucky, the player must be at least 18 years old. This is quite generous, as a lot of states require players to be 21 years old.
In Kentucky, bookmakers, owners or gambling devices, and organizers of games face strict penalties, but players do not. Promoting gambling is a Class A misdemeanor or a Class D felony, depending on the charges.
DFS Betting AgeYou must be at least 18 years old to gamble or play DFS in Kentucky.
Alcohol AgeIn the state of Kentucky, you cannot drink alcohol until you are at least 21 years old.
Weed AgeSmoking cannabis for recreational purposes is currently still illegal in the state of Kentucky.
Is Daily Fantasy Betting Legal Outside of the Kentucky?
Daily fantasy sports betting is legal to some degree or another in most states in the USA. There are a handful of states where it has been made illegal, and others which have actively passed legislation to make it legal. The majority of states handle the situation much like Kentucky, where it is neither been actively made legal or illegal, and so is allowed to happen without fear or prosecution.
For more information about DFS in the USA, you can have a look at our daily fantasy sports page.
The states bordering Kentucky all have similar rules on this form of betting. For example, you can refer to our well-written pages on Tennessee daily fantasy betting and daily fantasy betting in West Virginia.
The Best Fantasy Sports App in Kentucky
As with most forms of gambling, daily fantasy sports are not limited to your home computer. The majority of sites offer decent mobile versions as well, so you play from your phone. Many of them also have downloadable apps so that you can have the best user experience possible, even when you are out and about. Making drafts and picks on your phone is really convenient and often faster than on your computer. We are particularly taken with Draft Kings mobile app as it offers a great user experience.
Taxes on Daily Fantasy Winnings: Legal Overview
As in most states, gambling winnings in Kentucky are subject to both state and federal income taxes. If you win a larger prize, the state lottery agency withholds taxes from winnings so that there is no confusion about what is owed. If you win $600 or less, you can collect your winnings from any authorized retailer and taxes will not be taken from the winnings. However, winners are required to declare the prize as income. For more than $600, winners must submit a claim form to the Kentucky lottery agency, which will then report the prize to the IRS.
The federal withholding rate on gambling wins is 25%. Kentucky’s withholding rate is set by state law as equal to the highest state income tax rate (6%). If a winner is in a lower tax bracket, then they can get a refund after they file their taxes if too much has been withheld.
Upcoming Regulation Changes to Be Aware Of
What it comes down to in Kentucky, is that there aren’t that many types of legal gambling but there are some gray areas, such as daily fantasy sports. Of course, you can also legally enjoy horse race betting, charity games, social games, and lottery betting.
Recent bills trying to allow more legal gambling have failed, so many people are having to cross state lines in order to gamble legally. There has also been a crackdown on online gambling, so it is unlikely that Kentucky is going to change their position on that any time soon. While it doesn’t look like this state has any plans to make DFS illegal, it seems quite happy to not face the problem at the moment and just leave it as a legal gray area.