Online gamblers in Kentucky enjoy a full range of betting options. They can sign up and play for real money at online casinos, sportsbooks, and poker sites. Offshore online gambling sites accept Kentucky players without reservation. In fact, they offer big welcome bonuses willing to deposit cash in their player accounts.
Since the passage of a sports betting bill in March 2023, Kentucky supports licensed land-based sportsbooks, online sports betting, and mobile sports betting apps. That makes Kentucky sports bettors’ choices a bit more complicated but only increases the legit choices. Keep reading for a full recap of Kentucky’s online gambling laws, as well as a few tips on where bettors should sign up.
Kentucky Online Gambling Laws
Kentucky does not regulate online casinos and poker sites. Though no such gambling sites are licensed, state officials do not prosecute Kentucky residents who gamble from the privacy of their homes. They also do not prosecute mobile casino gamblers or mobile poker players who gamble while they’re on the go throughout the day.
The main concern is finding legit online casinos and poker sites. If you play for real money at an online casino or poker room, you’ll play on an offshore online gambling site. International gaming agencies license and regulate these sites, though USA federal and Kentucky officials don’t. You won’t have legal protection if the site refuses to pay winnings, so you must do your research and deposit in trusted sites only.
Online sports betting has an added twist. Licensed sportsbooks should launch at Kentucky land-based gaming venues and online by September 2023. Bettors then will be able to play at licensed online sportsbooks. They’ll still have the option to play at unlicensed sportsbooks online, though the offshore sites have bigger welcome bonuses and more banking methods.
Gambling Availability in Kentucky
Online Sports Betting
Horse or Dog Racing
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Tips for Gambling at Online Casinos in Kentucky
Gambling at online casinos can be a fun and exciting experience, but it’s crucial to ensure that the casino site you choose is trustworthy and secure. Here are some steps to help you gamble safely at Kentucky online casinos.
- Research Casino Sites: Look for reputable online casinos by reading reviews, so you can learn about a site’s reputation, customer support, and payment history.
- Account Registration: Once you find a reputable casino site, register for a player account by providing your basic details and proof of residency.
- Fund Your Account: If you want to play casino games for real money, you need to make a deposit. Choose a deposit type from the cashier page and add funds to your account.
- Pick a Welcome Bonus: Sites offer welcome bonuses to new players. These bonuses include bonus cash and free spins on selected slots. To avoid issues, make sure you read the bonus terms and conditions before accepting the offer.
- Real Money Casino Games: Once you have funded your account, you can start playing casino games for real money. Choose from a variety of games, including slots, table games, and specialty games.
- Collect a Payout: If you meet wagering requirements, you can request a withdrawal of your winnings. Payouts can take a few minutes or a few days, depending on the payout method.
- Join Sportsbook and Cardroom Sites: If you prefer sports betting or poker, the process is quite similar. Look for sportsbooks and cardrooms that are reputable and offer fair odds and bonuses.
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Kentucky Land-Based Gambling Industry
Kentucky’s land-based gambling industry is substantial, though limited. The state has a couple of casino complexes and four racinos, so slot players will find their type of gaming at 6 locations across the state. Of course, Kentucky is known for its horse racing industry, which has operated with state licensing for over 115 years.
Otherwise, Kentucky residents and visitors can purchase a range of lottery tickets and engage in charitable gaming. The rules for these are fairly standard, though non-profits can get into the charitable gaming business much quicker than in many US states.
Does Kentucky have land-based casinos?
Yes. Kentucky has a couple of commercial land-based casinos: Mint Gaming Hall Cumberland in Williamsburg and Mint Gaming Hall Bowling Green in the city of Bowling Green. The Williamsburg complex hosts 450 gaming machines, while Bowling Green hosts 500 gaming machines. Both have a racebook.
Does Kentucky have legal betting tracks?
Does it? You might have heard of Churchill Downs, the annual home of the Kentucky Derby. In many ways, Kentucky is the world capital of horse racing and pari-mutuel betting.
The state created the Kentucky Racing Commission on March 23, 1906. At first, it allowed bookmaker bets but replaced these with pari-mutuel wagering. In 1924, the Kentucky House passed a bill to outlaw pari-mutuel betting, but the measure failed in the Kentucky Senate by a 14-24 vote. Thus, Kentucky has a racing commission that’s 117 years old and counting.
These days, Kentucky has 3 traditional race tracks, 4 racetrack-casinos (“racinos”), and 2 off-track betting facilities. The traditional race tracks include Churchill Downs in Louisville, Keeneland in Lexington, and Red Mile Gaming & Racing in Lexington.
The racinos include Turfway Park Racing and Gaming in Florence, Ellis Park in Henderson, Oak Grove Racing in Oak Grove, and The Mint Gaming Hall at Kentucky Downs in Franklin. The main difference for these racinos is the presence of a slot parlor with gaming machines. The number of gaming machines ranges from 187 in Ellis Park to 1,300 in the Oak Grove Racing facility.
Does Kentucky allow off-track betting?
Yes. Kentucky has two off-track betting facilities. These are Derby City Gaming in Louisville and Newport Racing & Gaming in Newport. Churchill Downs owns Derby City Gaming and expanded the facility in 2021 with a $76 million renovation. The company also owns Newport Racing and has a multi-year deal with Aristocrat Leisure to supply it with gaming machines.
Does Kentucky allow charitable gambling?
Yes. Kentucky charitable groups can generate revenues using bingo nights, raffles, and pull-tab games. The Bluegrass State only requires a non-profit organization to be in existence for 1 year before it can apply for a charitable gambling license. Players must be 18 years of age, though minors accompanied by a parent or legal guardian also can buy bingo cards or raffle entries.
Does Kentucky allow lottery betting?
Yes. Kentucky launched a state lottery in 1989. The Peach State joined the Mega Millions multistate lottery association in 1991 and the Powerball lottery association in 2010. Vendors across Georgia sell state lottery tickets, Mega Millions and Powerball tickets, and scratch cards.
Is social gambling allowed in Kentucky?
Yes. Kentucky has no statutes against home poker games. If you collect a rake on the poker hands, officials would consider that illegal. Door fees, seat licenses, and large costs for refreshments also qualify as making a profit on private gaming. If a few friends have a weekly poker game, that is legal.
Kentucky has no rules against online social gaming, either. Players can sign up at Zynga, Big Fish Gaming, and similar social gaming sites, which offer credits that might trigger small real-money payouts. If you buy coins once free credits have won out, that is considered gambling in certain jurisdictions.
What is the legal gambling age in Kentucky?
Kentucky residents who want to gamble need to be 18 years old. This applies for lottery betting and charitable gaming.
|The Mint Gaming Hall
|500 gaming machines (VGMs) and a race book
|The Mint Gaming Hall
|450 gaming machines and a race book
|Red Mile Gaming & Racing
|Race book. Harness racing.
|Race book. Thoroughbred racing.
|Turfway Park Racing & Gaming
|800 video gaming machines (VGMs), race book. Thoroughbred racing.
|The Mint Gaming Hall
|Franklin (Kentucky Downs)
|750 gaming machines and a race book. Thoroughbred racing.
|187 gaming machines (VGMs), race book. Thoroughbred racing.
|Oak Grove Racing & Gaming
|1,300 video gaming machines (VGMs). Race book. Harness racing.
|Derby City Gaming
|Race book. Off-track betting (OTB) facility. High stakes area.
|Newport Racing & Gaming
|Race book. Off-track betting (OTB) facility.
Online Gambling Kentucky FAQ
Is online gambling legal in Kentucky?
Yes. Kentucky real money gamblers can bet on any casino game, major poker variant, or sports bet that Kentucky players prefer. Offshore online gambling sites accept Kentucky players who play for real money. Though Kentucky doesn’t regulate online gambling, its officials also do not charge, fine, or prosecute Kentucky residents who play online for real money. They prosecute Kentucky citizens who launch online gambling portals, which explains the Kentucky ban on online gambling. Individual players are fine.
Kentucky online gambling laws will get murkier in late 2023. That is when the state plans to launch licensed online sports betting. Big-name sportsbooks will partner with land-based gaming facilities to offer online sportsbooks and mobile sports betting apps. Most Kentucky sports bettors will use such sites, though the offshore route will still be available.
Can I legally gamble at online casinos in Kentucky?
Yes. Offshore online casinos accept real money play from Kentucky. The international sites feature online slots, blackjack, baccarat, craps, roulette, keno, bingo, video poker, and scratch cards. They offer thousands of dollars in bonus money, the ability to join a players’ club, and deposits and withdrawals with many banking options.
Can I gamble for real money at online sportsbooks in Kentucky?
Yes. Offshore online sportsbooks accept Kentucky bettors. These sites offer signup bonuses worth hundreds of dollars, plus a risk-free bet between $10 and $25. Online sportsbooks offer a full range of moneyline, point spread, futures, and live in-play betting on NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, MLS, and NCAA games. These sites support deposits and withdrawals using credit cards, web wallets, crypto wallets, and bank wire transfers. By the fall of 2023, Kentucky bettors can try licensed online sportsbooks.
Kentucky became the 38th state to legalize sports betting when Governor Andy Beshear signed a bill into law on March 30, 2023. House Bill 551 won’t come into law until June 29th, though the Racing Commission hopes to have operators licensed by September 7th, which is the day the NFL launches its regular season. Since the NFL is the pinnacle of sports betting each year, Kentucky wants to launch land-based sportsbooks by that time.
When it comes into effect, HB551 will change online sports betting for Kentucky bettors. Obtaining a land-based license for the race tracks and casinos will cost $500,000 initially, plus $50,000 each year after that. If you want an online sports betting license, it will cost $50,000 initially and $10,000 a year after that.
Can I gamble at online poker sites in Kentucky?
Yes. Offshore online poker sites accept real money play from Kentucky card players. The cardrooms feature Texas Hold’em, Omaha Holdem, Omaha Hi-Lo, and Seven-Card Stud. You can join ring games, sit & go events, and major tournaments with large fields of players. Kentucky online poker sites offer large bonuses, plus a wide range of payment methods.
How do I gamble online in Kentucky using crypto deposits?
Offshore online casinos, poker rooms, and sportsbooks cater to Kentucky’s online gamblers by accepting cryptocurrency deposits. The majority of US offshore gambling sites allow bettors to use various crypto payment methods such as Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Ethereum, and Bitcoin SV, and provide lucrative welcome bonuses to new players upon their first deposit. Popular sites such as Wild Casino, Slots of Vegas, and Planet 7 Casino offer a wide variety of games that players enjoy, including slots, table games like blackjack and roulette, and live dealer games. Additionally, these sites often feature sports betting and poker games.
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