Kentucky Sports Betting 2024: Top KY Sportsbooks Now Live

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Sports Betting in Kentucky: Quick Overview

🏆 Online Sports Betting Status:LIVE!
🗓️ Mobile Betting Launch Date:September 28, 2023
📱 KY Betting Apps LIVE:Bet365, BetMGM, Caesars, DraftKings, FanDuel, Bet365, Fanatics Sportsbook
📍 Retail Sports Betting:Available
👥 Legal Gambling Age:21+
⚖️ KY Regulator:Kentucky Horse Racing Commission


Full List of Approved Kentucky Sportsbooks: 

Other KY sportsbooks potentially applying for a license from the KHRC:




Latest Sports Betting Kentucky News & Updates

Updated Oct. 31, 2023

The Kentucky Wildcats' season opener on Nov. 6 at home against New Mexico State will be the first time the schools have met in the regular season. In the 1999 NCAA Tournament, Kentucky beat New Mexico State in the first round by 22 points, CBS Sports reported. 

Updated Oct. 27, 2023

The University of Kentucky's exhibition game Friday against Georgetown College is one of two exhibitions matchups between Oct. 27 and the start of the regular season. The 16th-ranked Wildcats face Kentucky State on Nov. 2 before tipping off the regular season at home on Nov. 6 against New Mexico State.

Updated Oct. 17, 2023

The Kentucky Wildcats are ranked No. 16 in the Associated Press preseason men's basketball Top 25 poll. The Wildcats open the regular season Nov. 6 at home against New Mexico State and face No. 1-ranked Kansas on Nov. 14 in Chicago.

Updated Oct. 13, 2023

John Calipari, head basketball coach at the University of Kentucky, will receive the John R. Wooden Award Legends of Coaching honor, the Associated Press reported. The award, based on character, on-court success, graduation rate of players in their program and coaching philosophy, will be presented in April at the Los Angeles Athletic Club.

Updated Oct. 6, 2023

From Thursday to Sunday last week in Kentucky, bettors wagered a combined $68 million in person at sportsbooks and on mobile sports-betting apps, according to Gov. Andy Beshear. "The best news is those dollars are staying right here to help build a brighter future for all our families," the governor said.


Top 6 KY Online Sportsbooks Live 


1. Caesars Sportsbook Kentucky



Caesars Sportsbook, a prominent global brand, operates legally in states with online sports betting and boasts a generous welcome bonus and extensive sports market coverage. And for Kentucky, Caesars has crafted an offer that not only provides an immediate bonus but also ensures you have something to look forward to for the next month. 

Quick Facts about Caesars Kentucky:

caesars kentucky sportsbook




2. BetMGM Sportsbook Kentucky



BetMGM Sportsbook is expected to make waves in online Kentucky sports betting. The ‘King of Sportsbooks’ operates in numerous states across the U.S. and is known for offering an effortless user experience, competitive odds, and diverse betting options. 


Quick Facts about BetMGM Kentucky:

betmgm kentucky sportsbook home


3. FanDuel Sportsbook Kentucky 


fanduel kentucky sportsbook website


FanDuel sportsbook is celebrated for competitive odds and varied promotions for both newcomers and regular bettors.  

Quick Facts about FanDuel Kentucky:




4. DraftKings Sportsbook Kentucky



A top-tier online sportsbook, DraftKings Kentucky boasts tempting odds for major domestic leagues and diverse betting options.  


Quick Facts about DraftKings Kentucky:

draftkings kentucky sportsbook website homepage


5. Bet365 Sportsbook Kentucky



Quick Facts about Bet365 Kentucky:

bet365 kentucky


6. ESPN BET Sportsbook Kentucky (Formerly Barstool)

There’s been a lot of news surrounding ESPN BET & Barstool in the past few weeks. Many bettors were expecting Barstool to make its debut in Kentucky but in an interesting change of events, Penn Interactive sold the Brand name back to its original owner after purchasing it earlier this year, and instead teamed up with ESPN to create ESPN BET Sportsbook. 

 Here’s a quick rundown of what went down:

So fast forward to today, ESPN BET Sportsbook is under way to launch in Kentucky, and most likely in other States where sports betting is legal. However, ESPN BET got a bit of work to do before it can be ready to launch. The operator has not shared any potential dates as of yet, but chances are it might not be ready in time for the mobile betting launch in September. 

Having said that, it should be going live by the end of the year. The operator is promising  top-notch sports analysis, expert betting advice, and a user-friendly experience, enriched by exclusive ESPN content and talent - and we’re looking forward to it. In the meantime, you can check out our detailed ESPN BET Kentucky review to get more information on what we can expect from this sportsbook.

Types of Kentucky Sports Betting Bonuses

Sports bettors enjoy promotional offers, and Kentucky players will inherit the same privilege with the launch of the legal online sports betting market. Operators provide different types of bonus deals with specific wagering requirements. Here are some of the most popular Kentucky sporstsbook betting promotions that will become available for residents:


How to Sign Up at KY Online Sports Betting Sites


Betting on the NFL Season in Kentucky




Benefits of Using Legal Sports Betting Sites:

Bet Types in Kentucky

These are just a few of the betting options expected to be available in Kentucky. As the launch date approaches, we'll have more information on the specific offerings of each sportsbook. Stay tuned for updates!


The Role of the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC)

The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) is responsible for regulating horse racing in the state. With the introduction of sports betting in Kentucky, the KHRC's role has expanded to include:


Horse Racing Tracks Partnerships With Mobile Sportsbooks

Kentucky's HB 551 law uniquely positions its nine horse racing tracks as retail sports wagering facilities locations, granting them exclusive rights for sports betting licenses. This setup paves the way for multiple potential partnerships, with tracks allowed three online partners each. As a result, KY online sportsbooks could number up to 27. This strategic approach ensures the state's vital horse racing industry benefits directly from the betting revenue. 

Here is the latest list of retail sports betting locations approved in Kentucky:


Service ProviderPartnering TrackType of Partnership
CaesarsThe Red MileRetail and Mobile
Kambi Churchill Downs
Churchill Downs’ satellite location, Derby City Gaming
Ellis Park Henderson
Turfway Park
Oak Grove
FanaticsOak GroveMobile
FanduelTurfway Park, and its satellite location, Newport Racing and GamingMobile
DraftKingsCumberland Run and its satellite locationRetail and Mobile
Penn Sports Interactive BetMGMEllis Park Henderson and OwensboroMobile
BetmgmSandy’s Gaming and RacingRetail and Mobile
Circa SportsCumberland Run and its satellite locationMobile
Bet365Sandy’s Gaming and RacingMobile


Top 5 Kentucky Sports Teams to Bet On 


Kentucky Wildcats mascot


Kentucky might not have a professional sports team, but it has a proud tradition of college teams with championship pedigrees. A few of the more popular college sports teams which can be alluring for sports bettors are:



Kentucky Horse Race Betting 


Making betting legal in Kentucky aligns with its rich equestrian history and passion for sports. Known as the "Horse Capital of the World," Kentucky's horse racing heritage is a core part of its identity. This love began in the late 18th century and has grown ever since, culminating in iconic races like the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs, often dubbed "The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports." While the Derby steals the limelight, events like the Bluegrass Stakes and Kentucky Oaks also highlight the state's racing prominence.

Kentucky is not just about racing; it's a hub for horse breeding, with its fertile Bluegrass region producing champion horses. Institutions like the Kentucky Horse Park and the University of Louisville's Equine Industry Program educate and celebrate the deep bond between humans and horses in the state. For Kentucky, horse racing is not just a sport—it's a cherished tradition that enriches its cultural and economic landscape.

With the legalization of sports betting, Kentucky takes a significant step forward, merging its historical love for horse racing with modern sports betting avenues. Making online horse racing betting legal, along with other sports, not only offers residents a regulated and safe betting environment but also promises to boost the state's economy, leveraging its unique position in the world of sports.

Common Questions about Kentucky Online Sports Betting and Casino Gambling

What online gambling options are legally available in Kentucky? 

At present, the only authorized online gambling activities in Kentucky include pari-mutuel advance deposit wagering platforms, specifically TVG and Twin Spires, and the Kentucky Lottery which provides online draw and instant game tickets. Additionally, sports betting has been approved, however, it hasn't been rolled out for the public yet.

Can I bet on sports in Kentucky?

Not yet, but sports betting will be available soon. Starting September 7, 2023, in-person sports betting will be introduced at horse track sportsbooks in the state. The online sports betting launch will follow suit on September 28, 2023.

I'm eager to bet on sports now. What are my options?

If you're in Northern Kentucky, sports betting in Ohio is a convenient option as the state legalized the activity earlier this year. Just a short trip across the Ohio River, and you can bet legally within Ohio's borders. You don't need to be a resident. Additionally, states bordering Kentucky like Illinois, Indiana, West Virginia, Virginia, and Tennessee have legalized sports betting

Will I need to travel for sports betting after September 7, 2023?

No, starting September 7, residents won't need to cross state lines as sports betting will be legal in Kentucky.

Is casino gambling legal in Kentucky?

No, casino gambling and Kentucky online casinos are not permitted. While the State has been working hard to make online betting legal, there are no plans to do the same for online casino gambling. Residents looking for experiences similar to New Jersey online casino apps need to visit neighboring states.

Are there any online gambling options in Kentucky?

Yes, while traditional online casinos aren't allowed, residents can play at social and sweepstakes casinos like WinStar, LuckyLand, and Chumba. These platforms offer free virtual coins and jackpot prizes without real money transactions. Additionally, Kentucky offers pari-mutuel advance deposit wagering platforms like TVG and Twin Spires, and online options for the Kentucky Lottery.

What about offshore-based gambling sites?

Gambling on offshore-based sites is discouraged due to their lack of regulation. This is why many have been pushing to make online sports betting legal. Players risk losing their funds, and there's no guarantee of fair gameplay.


Banking Options at Kentucky Online Sportsbooks

Kentucky's online sportsbooks provide multiple safe and easy banking methods:

📥 Deposit:


📤 Withdrawal:

Note: Options differ by sportsbook, with potential limits. Refer to your sportsbook's banking section for specifics.



Taxation and Licensing for Kentucky Online Sportsbooks

💰 Tax Rate:14.25% (Online), 9.75% (Retail)
💵 Estimated State Annual Revenue:$23 million
💳 Initial Licensing Fee:$500,000
🔄 Annual Renewal Fee:$50,000
📜 Additional Operator License Fee:$50,000 (Initial), $10,000 (Annual)
💳 Use of Credit/Debit Cards:To be confirmed
🔒 Advertising Limits:To be confirmed

Licensing Fees

Operating an online sportsbook in Kentucky comes with certain financial obligations. The initial licensing fee is set at $500,000, followed by an annual renewal fee of $50,000. For operators, an additional license costing $50,000 is required, with an annual fee of $10,000.

Tax Rates

The state of Kentucky has set a tax rate of 14.25% for online and mobile sportsbooks. This means that for every dollar of revenue, approximately 14.25 cents will go to the state as tax. This tax is applied after winnings are paid out to bettors. For more detailed information on sports betting taxes in Kentucky, visit our page on the Kentucky sports gambling tax rate.

Implications for Operators

For operators, these costs and tax obligations are significant considerations. They can impact the profitability of the sportsbook and may influence the business strategy. For instance, to offset these costs, operators might need to be more conservative with the odds they offer or limit the number and value of promotions they run.

Implications for Bettors

For bettors, these costs could indirectly affect their betting experience. If operators offer less favorable odds or fewer promotions due to the high costs of operation, bettors might find fewer opportunities for profitable bets. However, the legalization and regulation of online sports betting also bring benefits for bettors, such as enhanced consumer protection and the convenience of being able to bet legally from their own homes.


Kentucky Online Sports Betting vs. Other Legal Sports Betting States

Kentucky is the 37th state in the US to legalize sports betting. Although the regulatory framework is still in the development phase, it's expected to mirror the rules and requirements found in other states.



The Future of The Kentucky Sports Betting Industry

What does the future look like for sports betting in Kentucky? 

The Kentucky Sports Betting industry is poised for significant growth, with betting apps playing a pivotal role. These KY betting app platforms will offer features like live-streaming and in-play betting, enhancing the overall betting experience for users.

In terms of Tax Revenue Projections, the state expects to generate approximately $23 million annually in tax revenue and licensing fees from sports betting. Some experts believe this estimate might even be on the conservative side.

When compared to other legal betting states, Kentucky's approach to sports betting mirrors the strategies adopted by several others. The emphasis on mobile betting, in particular, reflects a broader national trend. However, the true test will be how Kentucky's sports betting market performs in comparison to its neighbors, both in terms of user engagement and revenue generation.



Responsible Gambling in Kentucky 

As sports betting becomes a reality in Kentucky, it's crucial to remember the importance of responsible gambling. Betting on sports should be an enjoyable pastime, not a means to make money or escape problems. Here are some tips to help you bet responsibly:

✔ Set a Budget: Decide how much money you're willing to lose before you start betting, and stick to that budget. Never bet money you can't afford to lose.

✔ Understand the Odds: Make sure you understand how betting odds work before you place a bet. Remember, the house always has an edge.

✔ Don't Chase Losses: It can be tempting to try to win back money you've lost by placing more bets, but this can lead to even bigger losses.

✔ Take Regular Breaks: Gambling continuously without taking breaks can lead to poor decision-making and problem gambling.

✔ Seek Help if Needed: If you or someone you know is struggling with gambling, don't hesitate to seek help. The Kentucky Council on Problem Gambling provides resources and support for individuals dealing with problem gambling.

Remember, the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission is the regulator for sports betting in the state, and they are committed to promoting responsible gambling practices. If you have any concerns about your gambling habits, please reach out to them or another trusted organization for help.


Other Useful References Relevant to KY Sports Betting: 


Kentucky Sports Betting Legislation Timeline:

  • Critics have questioned the readiness of the KHRC to regulate sports betting, given that Kentucky has significantly fewer gambling enforcement staff than other states like Ohio and Indiana, however the KHRC expresses confidence in its approach to sports betting, despite questions about staffing

  • Kentucky's sports betting is launching on September 7, 2023, with mobile betting following on September 28, 2023, hosted by horse racing tracks with tax rates of 9.75% for retail and 14.25% for online wagers.

  • Kentucky's imminent sports betting launch should prioritize thorough regulation and preparation over speed to avoid potential hurdles, learning from the hasty rollout in Massachusetts.

  • Governor Andy Beshear signs HB 551 into a Kentucky Sports Betting law.

  • HB 551 is endorsed with a vote of  25-12.

  • The House passes HB 551, sending it to the Senate.

  • Rep. Michael Meredith introduces House Bill 551, a bill that is aiming to legalize sports betting in Kentucky.

  • House Bill 241 gets introduced but fails to receive majority support.

  • The United States Supreme Court permits states to decide if they will make legal Kentucky sports betting.



Legislation and History of Sports Betting in Kentucky

Historical Context

  • Horse Racing Tradition: Kentucky's storied tradition in horse racing sets the backdrop for its relationship with gambling.

2016: Religious Sentiments and Gambling

  • Pew Religious Landscape Study: 63% of Kentucky respondents said religion is very important in their lives, highlighting the state's strong religious sentiments that have historically influenced its stance on gambling.

2018-2021: The Online Poker Saga

  • Lawsuit Against PokerStars: Kentucky's relationship with online poker took center stage with its lawsuit against PokerStars, rooted in an old Kentucky statute.
  • 2021 Settlement: The lawsuit was settled with PokerStars agreeing to pay Kentucky $300 million, making the state a significant financial beneficiary of online poker without even legalizing the activity.

2023: A Turning Point for Sports Betting

  • Introduction of HB 106: On Jan. 5, 2023, bill HB 106 was introduced, aiming to legalize online poker, betting, and daily fantasy sports.
  • Bill Sponsors: The bill was championed by Rep. Derrick Graham (D), Rep. Cherlynn Stevenson (D), and Rep. Rachel Roberts (D).
  • Governor's Stance: Governor Andy Beshear, a Democrat, emerged as a vocal advocate for sports wagering, emphasizing its potential economic benefits.
  • Bipartisan Dynamics: While the bill showcased strong Democratic support, the challenge lay in garnering enough backing from the Republican majority.

For a more detailed exploration of Kentucky's sports betting legislation journey, visit our comprehensive legislation page.

Key Figures in Kentucky's Sports Betting Legislation

Several key figures played instrumental roles in the legalization of sports betting in Kentucky.

  • Rep. Adam Koenig: Rep. Koenig was the primary sponsor of HB 551, the bill that legalized sports betting in Kentucky. He had been a long-time advocate for sports betting in the state and had introduced similar bills in previous years that did not pass. His persistent efforts were instrumental in the eventual success of the legislation.
  • Gov. Andy Beshear: Governor Beshear was a strong supporter of sports betting as a means to generate additional revenue for the state. His endorsement of the bill was crucial in its passage.
  • The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC): The KHRC was given the responsibility of regulating the new sports betting market. Their role in overseeing the implementation and operation of sports betting in the state is key to its success.
  • The Kentucky General Assembly: The General Assembly's role in passing the bill cannot be understated. Despite previous failed attempts, the 2023 session saw the bill pass, marking a significant shift in the state's stance towards sports betting.

These key figures, among others, were instrumental in the process that led to the legalization of sports betting in Kentucky. Their efforts have paved the way for a new era of sports betting in the state.


Is Sports Betting Legal in Kentucky?

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