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Kentucky online gambling

Kentucky has formally legalized sports betting in both retail and online settings, but state lawmakers haven’t made much progress on casino gambling legalization. On this page, we'll go through everything you need to know about Kentucky online gambling.

Fact checked by: Gary Garry
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Kentucky online gambling is regulated by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) for the most part, and there is also a Kentucky Lottery with online games.

Although online casino gambling may still be some years away for KY bettors, we’re going to cover all the key information players in Kentucky should be aware of once online gambling officially opens in the state.

Best Kentucky gambling sites

Besides horse racing and the Kentucky Lottery, sports betting is the only other form of online gambling legally permitted in Kentucky. Below is a list of Kentucky gambling sites that established their presence in the state in September 2023 together with other operators that will be launching soon:

🏈 DraftKings Kentucky ⭐ Renowned gambling app with a variety of virtual table games
🏈 bet365 Kentucky ⭐ Titan with diverse payment methods and extensive betting options
🏈 Caesars Kentucky ⭐ Leading gambling site with promotions for notable horse racing events
🏈 FanDuel Kentucky ⭐ Offers cushioned welcome bonuses
🏈 Fanatics Kentucky ⭐ Newly licensed with customary wagers and merchandise promos
🏈 BetMGM Kentucky ⭐ Recognizable brand with generous welcome bonuses
🏈 ESPN Bet Kentucky ⭐ New gambling site with a promising future
🏈 Circa Sports Kentucky ⭐ Popular for high limits and favorable odds

DraftKings Kentucky

DraftKings Kentucky

  • Welcome promo: Bet $5 Get $200 in Bonus Bets

DraftKings has long been one of the go-to gambling apps for users in the United States. In states where DK’s online casino is live, they offer a pretty enticing welcome offer for new users. We expect this sign-up bonus to be available for KY players as well.

The DK online casino offers a bunch of virtual table games for their users to get in on. Blackjack, poker, slots, roulette, and craps are all available to play through DraftKings online casino.

Users must be 21 years old or older to participate.

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bet365 Kentucky

bet365 Kentucky

  • Welcome promo: Bet $5 Get $150 in Bonus Bets

bet365 is a prominent fixture in the realm of online gambling, and its sportsbook has launched to users in Kentucky. As a titan in the betting industry, bet365 offers an extensive array of online sports wagering options, with many different bet types and sports available on the betting menu.

With a generous welcome offer and a diverse selection of payment methods, bet365 is an obvious choice for gamblers in Kentucky.

bet365 is a formidable presence in the online gambling arena, demonstrated by its expansive reach and reputation. Offering a wealth of promotional offers and an extensive selection of betting possibilities, bet365 will stand as a very viable option for dedicated online gambling enthusiasts.

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Caesars Kentucky

Caesars Kentucky

  • Welcome promo: Second Chance Bet Up To $1000

Caesars is one of the biggest gambling websites in the country, boasting a wide variety of betting options and a full-fledged sports betting platform.

They offer a plethora of promotions for new and existing users. The Caesars gambling site offers enticing promotional bonuses for the Kentucky Derby, along with other notable horse racing events in the state.

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FanDuel Kentucky

FanDuel Kentucky

  • Welcome promo: Bet $5 Get $150 in Bonus Bets

Like DraftKings, FanDuel Kentucky is a must-have for any online gambler. Their welcome bonus gives new players a nice cushion to work with as well.

FanDuel’s online casino gives new users a non-withdrawable casino bonus for their net losses in the first 24 hours of playing on the site up to $1,000. For example, if you end up losing $500 within your first 24 hours on the site, FanDuel will give you $500 in casino bonus credit to use in their online casino.

The FanDuel online casino has all of the standard casino games we’ve grown accustomed to, along with several other options to diversify your experience.

Users must be at least 18 years old to play FanDuel casino games.

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BetMGM Kentucky

BetMGM Kentucky

  • Welcome promo: Second Chance Bet Up To $1500

BetMGM is one of the most recognizable gambling brands on the planet, its sportsbook launched in Kentucky in September 2023. They also offer one of the best welcome bonuses on the market.

After new users create a BetMGM account, they get Bet $5 Get $158 in Bonus Bets

BetMGM Kentucky requires all users to be at least 21 years old to participate.

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ESPN Bet Kentucky

ESPN Bet Kentucky

ESPN Bet is a new gambling site that made its debut in the market in November 2023.

Following the termination of their partnership with Barstool Sportsbook in August 2023, PENN Entertainment and ESPN forged a 10-year agreement that could result in upwards of $2 billion for ESPN over that span. This deal rebranded Barstool Sportsbook to ESPN Bet, granting ESPN Bet immediate market access in all 16 of the other states where Barstool Sportsbook was active.

Fanatics Kentucky

Fanatics Kentucky

Fanatics Kentucky has secured a sports gambling license in Kentucky and has gone live since the  September 28, 2023 online sports betting launch in the state.

The gambling site provides the customary types of wagers expected from sports gambling industry giants, and they have been offering some sweet merchandise promos in other states.

Circa Sports Kentucky

Circa Sports Kentucky (coming soon!)

Founded in 2019, Circa Sports has rapidly gained popularity among veteran bettors, with their high betting limits and favorable odds. Currently, this gambling site is operational in four states: Nevada, Colorado, Illinois, and Iowa. However, Circa Sports was granted licensing in Kentucky and is preparing for a launch to expand its U.S. coverage.

Circa adopts a straightforward approach with its gambling site, catering to bettors who prioritize simplicity and the pursuit of winnings. They do not push pre-packaged low-probability bets, allowing users the freedom to wager as they see fit, potentially leading to substantial cash winnings.

Is online gambling legal in Kentucky

There are only a few online gambling options available for residents in the Bluegrass State. Your typical online table games like poker, blackjack, or roulette are not accessible for KY players. Besides online sports betting, betting on horse races and the KY Lottery are great ways to scratch that gambling itch. Here’s a quick overview of both.

  • Sports betting - Kentucky online sports betting launched on September 7, 2023, with the state's Governor, Andy Beshear, placing the first legal sports bet at Churchill Downs in Louisville. This marked the opening of in-person retail sportsbooks. The online sports betting market followed, launching on the morning of September 28, 2023. This development allowed bettors within the state to sign up with various mobile sports betting operators.
  • Horse race betting: In Kentucky, horse race betting is essentially a way of life. The most famous horse racing event in the country - The Kentucky Derby - is held there annually and we can trace horse racing in the state back to 1787. Suffice to say, there are plenty of well-known race tracks in the state, including Keeneland, Churchill Downs, and Red Mile. Users can bet on any number of races at these tracks. The OTBs (off-track betting) locations are all found at the resident racing tracks in KY - there are no off-site OTB locations within the state.
  • The Kentucky Lottery: Players can find a plethora of lottery games on the Kentucky Lottery. Scratch-offs, draw games, and instant win games are all accessible to users through the Lottery website or through the app.

How do I sign up for online gambling websites in Kentucky?

How to join an online gambling site in Kentucky

The registration process for most online gambling sites is pretty straightforward. It typically takes less than five minutes to get your online gambling account created.

While the step-by-step process will vary from site to site, the overall process is pretty similar.

  1. First, you’re going to need to visit one of the online gambling sites licensed in KY. Once you reach the homepage, you’ll typically be asked right away if you’d like to create an account. Sometimes, you’ll be given the opportunity to enter a promo code, but this is not always the case.
  2. Throughout the registration process, you’ll have to enter several pieces of information. This can include your full legal name, date of birth, the last four digits of your Social Security number, and your street address.
  3. After entering all the required information and finalizing the creation of your account, you’ll be able to deposit funds into your account and start gambling.

Currently, the only forms of online gambling available to KY players are sports betting, horse racing betting, and the Kentucky lottery. As for the other standard online gambling games, they’re still illegal in KY at the time of writing.

Once online casino gambling is officially legalized in KY, these are the types of games residents should be able to get their hands on.

  • Online Poker: Playing poker online against real opponents has steadily grown in popularity over the past decade or so. Virtual poker tables typically include games like Texas hold ‘em, Omaha hold ‘em, seven-card stud, and razz.
  • Online Casino Games: An online casino is exactly what it sounds like. It’s every casino game you can think of in the palm of your hand. Blackjack, roulette, baccarat, and slots are all usually accessible on virtual casino platforms.

Who will regulate online gambling in KY?

The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission oversees all sports betting operations in KY, so it is logical to assume that the KHRC will also regulate online casino gambling in Kentucky if and when it becomes legal.

Advice when playing on gambling sites in KY

Going from a physical setting for gambling to an online setting can be a bit jarring at first, but once you settle in, it’ll feel like you’re right back at your local casino. Nevertheless, there are a few things to keep in mind when transitioning to an online gambling site.

Here’s a few things to consider before trying an online gambling site in KY.

  • Set a budget: First and foremost, you’re going to want to set a budget for yourself whenever you decide to gamble - online or in person. This way, you’ll still be able to walk away without losing more money than you can afford.
  • Choosing the right games: Casino games are all about personal preference. If you want to have a more carefree experience, going with online slots may be your best bet. If you’re a competitive person, getting in on an online poker table should satisfy you. It’s important to always go with the games you feel most comfortable with.
  • Taking advantage of bonuses: If you’re new to online gambling, betting bonuses may be a pretty foreign concept to you. In short, taking advantage of the various bonuses at your disposal will more than likely lead to higher payouts. At the very least, utilizing bonuses can be a good way to ease yourself into the online gambling experience.

Bonuses offered on websites for gambling in Kentucky

Popular online gambling bonuses in Kentucky

Speaking of bonuses, online gambling sites typically offer a wide variety of bonuses for their users to get in on. Once online gambling is fully legalized in KY, we expect most, if not all, of these bonuses to be available for users.

  • Deposit match: Through a deposit match bonus, users will have their first deposit matched by the operator, in the form of a bonus bet. Typically, they will only match the deposit amount if it doesn’t exceed a certain amount.
  • Cashback: A cashback bonus is pretty self-explanatory. Online gambling sites will offer users a refund in the form of a bonus bet when they lose money. Usually, the refund bonus will range from 10 to 20 percent of the net losses.
  • Reload bonuses: This type of bonus is typically offered to players who have already made a deposit at the online casino. It’s employed to reward loyal players. So, if you’ve made a number of deposits into your account, you may be eligible for a reload bonus, which will give you some extra bonus funds to work with.

How you will be able to pay at gambling operators in Kentucky

Typically, online gambling operators offer a wide variety of banking options for their players to deposit and withdraw funds. However, these payment methods aren’t universal. There will certainly be some overlap between online casinos, but they usually vary a bit.

Here are some of the most common payment options that we expect to be available to KY users.

Potential deposit/withdrawal methods include:

  • Online banking
  • Debit/credit cards
  • PayPal
  • Venmo
  • Wire transfer
  • Cash in person at a retail location

Benefits and drawbacks of online gambling in KY vs. in-person gambling

Although the games being played are the same, the experience between online gambling and in-person gambling can vary drastically. And of course, there are pros and cons to gambling online as opposed to in-person.

Here are a few.

Pros

  • Convenience and comfort: There’s no question that gambling online is much more convenient than going to a casino.
  • Bonuses and rewards: Bonus bets and rewards are typically only available in online casinos. Very rarely will you find these types of perks gambling in person.
  • Privacy and security: Your privacy will always be protected when gambling online. For people trying to keep their gambling activities to themselves, KY sports betting through an online operator is the way to go.

Cons

  • Cash out times: Withdrawing money from an online gambling account can sometimes take up to 48 hours. In a retail setting, you’re able to cash out immediately.
  • Transaction fees: Not every online gambling site will impose transaction fees when withdrawing money, but it is present on select gambling sites.
  • Lack of personal interaction: For some gamblers, the thrill of winning money alongside your friends or fellow gamblers is why they’re gambling in the first place. Gambling online takes that excitement out of the experience.

FAQ

When will Kentucky gambling sites go live?

At the time of writing, there is no concrete date in place for online gambling to launch in Kentucky outside of sports betting. Online sports betting sites launched in Kentucky on September 28, 2023.

Which gambling operators will come to KY?

It’s unclear which gambling operators will come to KY once they’re permitted to do so. Some of the more popular online operators like DraftKings, FanDuel, and BetMGM will likely attempt to get casino licensing in the state as soon as possible. These three already launched their online sportsbooks in KY, with DraftKings and FanDuel also launching horse racing books.

Are gambling websites in Kentucky safe to play on?

With the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission and Kentucky Lottery regulating gambling websites in the state, they should be safe and secure for any KY players.

Will gambling sites in KY offer bonuses?

Yes, we’re expecting every online gambling site that gains licensing in KY to offer bonuses to their users.

Can you play online slots in KY?

Currently, users cannot play online slots in KY.

Fact checked by: Gary Garry