Kentucky Sports Betting May 2023: When Will Kentucky Sportsbooks Launch? is the ultimate source for all things Kentucky sports betting. When will Kentucky sportsbooks launch now that the state's sports betting bill passed? Which bookmakers are expected to go live and how many online betting sites will be available? Find these answers & more at

Fact Checked by Blake Weishaar

Legal Kentucky Betting Sites Available Today

Although traditional sportsbooks are waiting to be licensed and for an official launch date to be announced, horse racing betting apps are legal and available today. Below you'll find apps offering adults in Kentucky the opportunity to legally wager on the latest horse races around the country. We find this to be a great alternative while we wait for online bookmakers to launch.

Best Choice
TwinSpires Sportsbook
Best Choice
Must be 18+ to participate. T&Cs apply.

Kentucky Sports Betting Launch Updates May 2023


Kentucky House Bill 551 passed the state Senate chamber by a 25-12 vote on March 30, 2023. Governor Andy Beshear signed the Kentucky sports betting bill into law the following day, making KY the 38th state to legalize. The bill states that sports betting rules must be finalized six months after the law goes into effect on June 28, which means Kentucky sports betting could launch some time in late 2023 or early 2024.

Is Sport Betting Legal in Kentucky?Yes, But Sportsbooks Are Not Live Yet
🔥 Latest Development May 2023Kentucky Sports Betting Bill Signed by Gov
🚀 When Will Sportsbooks Launch?6 Months After Law Goes into Effect
🎯 Expected Kentucky SportsbooksBetMGM, Caesars, FanDuel, DraftKings

Kentucky Speedway and horse racing tracks must pay a $500,000 fee to the state, plus an additional $50,000 per year to renew the license, with bets allowed at sports betting facilities, as well as on licensed websites and phone apps. Wagers placed at tracks would have an excise tax of 9.75% and online wagers a rate of 14.25%.

The bill allows the Kentucky Speedway and the state’s nine horse tracks to operate retail sportsbooks. Each of the those betting entities can partner with up to three online operators. Thus, as many as 27 betting apps could operate in the state’s digital space when Kentucky sports betting goes live.

The law calls for sports betting to be administered by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC). The commission is now responsible for creating the necessary regulations to implement and oversee betting. The law allows for bettors to use credit cards and “any other form of payment authorized” by the racing commission. 

Popular Topics Related to Sports Betting in Kentucky

If you want to dig deeper into most important topics related to Kentucky sports betting, we cover them all in great detail. Below you will find quick links to all our most popular pages covering topics every bettor needs to know before they get started.

Is Sports Betting Legal in Kentucky?

Yes, sports betting in Kentucky is legal, though, no official launch date has been set for sportsbooks to start accepting bets. Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear signed sports betting legislation into law in late March, and the law will go into effect June 28. Sportsbooks have six months to get up and running in the state from that date. In the meantime, there are other forms of gambling that are legal and live such as horse race wagering and video gaming terminals (VGTs). There are gaming facilities located throughout the state, but without traditional casino gaming options.

When Will Sports Betting Be Legal in Kentucky?

Kentucky HB551 was signed into law on March 31, 2023, and the law will go into effect on June 28, 2023. Sportsbooks have within six months to become operational in the state. Kentucky's nine horse racing tracks will be able to launch both retail and online sports betting with up to three partners, meaning there could be up to 27 operators in the state. 

In neighboring Ohio, it took almost a year after legislation was passed before the first legal sports wagers were placed. Meanwhile, Indiana was much quicker as it took less than five months for the industry to launch once sports betting legislation was signed into law. It’s unclear how long it will be before we see sports betting sites in Kentucky go live. 

Latest News Impacting Sports Betting in Kentucky May 2023

  • 📆 May 26, 2023: The Red Mile hires former Caesars Entertainment director of racing Gabe Prewitt to be the racetrack’s VP of Racing and Sports Wagering Operations.
  • 📆 May 24, 2023: Preakness Stakes wagering was down 16.5% vs. 2022, generating just $54.6 million.
  • 📆 May 17, 2023: Churchill Downs CEO Bill Carstanjen says he expects sports betting to be ready in time for the start of the NFL season.
  • 📆 May 16, 2023: Caesars Sportsbook Kentucky enters into partnerships with Keeneland and Red Mile Gaming & Racing to add brick-and-mortar facilities to both locations.
  • 📆 May 7, 2023: Wagering from all sources set a new Kentucky Derby record, per Churchill Downs, coming in at $188.7M for 2023's race.
  • 📆 May 6, 2023: Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear states that his "confident" that Kentucky sports betting will be ready for the start of the NFL season.
  • 📆 April 17, 2023: A KHRC spokesperson says the commission "is dedicated to fulfilling its responsibilities in a timely manner while ensuring a successful implementation of sports wagering in Kentucky," suggesting that required regulatory frameworks will be done by June 28 deadline.
  • 📆 March 31, 2023: HB551 was signed into law by Governor Andy Beshear.
  • 📆 March 30, 2023: HB551 cleared the Senate chamber by a 25-12 vote.
  • 📆 March 29, 2023: DraftKings launches DK Horse, the brand's horse racing app, in 12 states, including Kentucky, ahead of the 2023 Kentucky Derby.
  • 📆 March 2023: The House of Representatives committee approves HB551 and the bill is voted on by representatives. HB551 passes by a vote of 63-34 before moving onto the Senate where it is approved by a Senate committee.
  • 📆 February 2023: A new legislative session begins with the introduction of HB551, a KY sports betting bill sponsored by Rep. Michael Meredith. The bill is sent to a House committee for approval ahead of a House vote.
  • 📆 July 2022: Caesars rolls out their Racebook App in 12 states, including Kentucky, ahead of the 2023 Kentucky Derby and other horse races.
  • 📆 April 2022: The Kentucky legislative session closes before the Senate can vote on HB 606.
  • 📆 March 2022: Rep. Adam Koenig makes another attempt to legalize Kentucky sports betting sites with the introduction of HB 606. The House of Representatives passes the bill by a vote of 58-30. The Senate must vote on the bill by the end of the legislative session the following month.
  • 📆 2021: Another KY sports betting bill fails. However, this time it is due to the shortened legislative session as a result of the global pandemic.
  • 📆 2020: Rep. Adam Koenig once again files KY sports betting legislation this time with the support of Governor Andy Beshear. But once again, his bill fails to earn the support of lawmakers.
  • 📆 2019: The state’s lawmakers make their first move to legalize Kentucky sportsbooks as Rep. Adam Koenig introduces a KY sports betting bill which makes it out of committee. However, the bill fails to pass through the House of Representatives.
  • 📆 2018: The U.S. Supreme Court rules that the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act is unconstitutional. This paves the way for each state to introduce its own sports betting legislation.

Latest Kentucky Sports Betting News

Our expert team of veteran reporters constantly stay in touch with events so that we can bring you the latest developments in sports betting in Kentucky. As things move forward, you'll read about it here first.

Best Kentucky Sportsbooks Potentially Launching in 2023-2024

While KY sports betting has yet to launch, we can be sure that in the home of horse racing, there will be considerable interest in the local sports betting industry. The state will allow nine horse racing tracks to launch both retail and Kentucky sports betting apps in partnership with up to three major sports betting brands. Here's a list of potential sportsbooks that could launch in Kentucky, along with their app rating:

BetMGM Sportsbook Kentucky📱 4.8 (Apple) | 4.4 (Android)
Caesars Sportsbook Kentucky📱 4.6 (Apple) | 4.4 (Android)
DraftKings Sportsbook Kentucky📱 4.6 (Apple) | 4.4 (Android)
FanDuel Sportsbook Kentucky📱 4.8 (Apple) | 4.7 (Android)
Barstool Sportsbook Kentucky📱 4.8 (Apple) | 3.2 (Android)
Fanatics Sportsbook Kentucky⛔️ TBD
Hard Rock Sportsbook Kentucky📱 4.8 (iPhone) | 4.5 (Android)
WynnBET Sportsbook Kentucky📱 4.6 (iPhone) | 4.4 (Android)
BetRivers Sportsbook Kentucky📱4.6 (iPhone) | 3.7 (Android)
bet365 Sportsbook Kentucky📱 4.6 (iPhone) | 2.4 (Android)
Superbook Sportsbook Kentucky📱 3.8 (iPhone) | 3.8 (Android)
PointsBet Sportsbook Kentucky📱 4.7 (iPhone) | 4.6 (Android)
Betway Sportsbook Kentucky📱 4.7 (iPhone) | 4.4 (Android)
📆 Last Verified:May 31, 2023

With many of the leading brands in the industry expected to launch once Kentucky online sports betting is underway, we can easily see what each brand has to offer in neighboring states. This gives us an idea of which is likely to be the best Kentucky sportsbook. With this in mind, we’re going to pump with BetMGM Kentucky Sportsbook

If other states are anything to go by, BetMGM Kentucky sportsbook will have an incredible range of online sports betting Kentucky markets, great ongoing promotions for existing users, and top-of-the-line live streaming of major sporting events.

Ranking the BEST Kentucky Sportsbook: BetMGM

Once Kentucky sports betting goes live, your No. 1 choice for placing your wagers will be BetMGM Kentucky Sportsbook. The app will provide the best overall user experience and offer the best bonuses. The BetMGM app currently has a 4.8-star rating in the Apple App Store and a 4.4-star rating in Android's Google Play store.

The bonus code for BetMGM Kentucky is STATESBONUSMGM for a $1,000 bet refund, but it cannot be claimed in Kentucky quite yet. The bonus code can only be used in states like Tennessee, Illinois and Ohio, where online sports betting is legalized. The BetMGM Kentucky app, as with the rest of Kentucky sports betting apps, is expected to launch in late 2023 or early 2024.

Key FeatureEasy Sign-Up Process
🔥 Expected Launch Deal$1K Bet Refund with STATESBONUSMGM for New Users
📲 Same-Game Parlays?Yes for NFL, NBA, MLB, etc.
💳 Payment OptionsVISA, PayPal, Skrill, Play+

Ranking the BEST Kentucky Sportsbook for Live Streaming: FanDuel

This is a brand that loves to live at the technological cutting edge, which is why FanDuel Kentucky Sportsbook is the best for live streaming of events. Many bettors like to wager in-play, and it adds to their enjoyment if they can watch the action too.

Key FeaturesMost Downloaded Sportsbook in US
🔥 Expected Launch DealBet $5, Get $150 in Bonus Bets
📲 Same-Game Parlays?Yes, also offer Same Game Parlay Plus
💳 Payment OptionsVISA, Venmo, Discover, American Express, PayPal

FanDuel was an official betting partner of the Kentucky Derby in 2023 and has been operating their FanDuel Racing app within their Sportsbook app product since December 2022/January 2023. Horse racing fans looking forward to the official launch of Kentucky sports betting will no doubt be familiar with FanDuel's streaming capabilities.

Ranking the BEST Kentucky Sportsbook Rewards Program: Caesars

One of the many features that will make Caesars Sportsbook Kentucky is the loyalty program that all customers join automatically. This is a well-established program with six tiers and a host of juicy benefits, from bonus bets to exclusive perks when you visit Caesars Entertainment establishments. You can collect points from casino games as well as sports betting. However, we do advise that you do not wager beyond your comfort zone simply to pile up VIP points.

Key FeatureLive NFL Games Available in App
🔥 Expected Launch DealUp to $1,250 on Caesars
📲 Same-Game Parlays?Yes but no more than 10 legs
💳 Payment OptionsVISA, American Express, Neteller, PayNearMe

As of May 18, Caesars KY has entered into partnerships with Keeneland and Red Mile Gaming & Racing to add brick-and-mortar facilities to both locations. The Red Mile also brought a former Caesars Entertainment director on board to run its track and sportsbook. 

Caesars launched their Racebook app ahead of the Kentucky Derby in July 2022, so bettors may be familiar with Caesars' rewards programs already. Expect Caesars to continue to be a major player once Kentucky sportsbooks open at the beginning of the NFL season.

Ranking the BEST Kentucky Sportsbook For Live Betting: DraftKings

DraftKings Kentucky Sportsbook will deliver a superlative experience for fans of in-play wagering. Check out the section dedicated to live in-game betting – you will find a host of sports and a wide range of markets to enjoy. This is a brand with the mobile expertise to update odds instantly. You will also be able to place your in-play bet without the fuss.

Key FeaturesGenerous Deal for New Bettors
🔥 Expected Launch DealBet $5, Get $150
📲 Same-Game Parlays?Yes, offer 100% boost on 10+ legs
💳 Payment OptionsVISA, PayPal, Discover

DraftKings launched DK Horse, the brand's horse racing app, in 12 states, including Kentucky, in March ahead of the 2023 Kentucky Derby. Horse racing fans and bettors awaiting full sports betting in Kentucky may already be familiar with DraftKings' live features.

Ranking the BEST Kentucky Sportsbook For Prop Bets: Barstool

Barstool Kentucky will be best for the range of proposition bets it delivers. This brand goes further by creating extra props relating to predictions from leading personalities at its partner sports content app. That complements an approach aimed at the younger, mobile-first gambler. As well as sports betting, you can win exclusive merchandise and other fun prizes.

Key FeaturesTons of Boosted Odds for Top Events
🔥 Expected Launch Deal$1,000 New Player Bonus
📲 Same-Game Parlays?Yes, also offers Parlay Plus
💳 Payment OptionsVISA, PayPal, PayNearMe

What Sportsbooks are in Kentucky?

Caesars Sportsbook Kentucky has become the first operator announce a deal in Kentucky following the legalization of sports betting in March. Caesars said it has partnered with two sites in Lexington, KY: Keeneland and Red Mile Gaming & Racing in Lexington. Caesars will operate both sites' online betting apps and brick-and-mortar retail sportsbooks. Red Mile even hired former Caesars Entertainment racing director Gabe Prewitt to be VP of Racing and Sports Wagering Operations, according to reports.

However, there are no Kentucky sportsbooks technically in operation yet within the state since the bill is not yet in effect, though some operators' racebooks have gone live within the last year. The bill provides for licenses for nine horse racing tracks to launch Kentucky online sports betting with up to three operators. Local racing heavyweight Churchill Downs has recently partnered with Bet365 in the state of Pennsylvania following the closure of its TwinSpires sportsbook. We could see a similar deal agreed once online sports betting Kentucky is underway. 

When will Kentucky Sportsbook Launch?

Kentucky sportsbooks are expected to launch in late 2023 or early 2024, though we don't have an exact date. HB 551 states that sportsbook operators have six months from June 28 to set up shop in the Bluegrass State. However, Gov. Andy Beshear said he'd like to see the state's sports betting system set up in time for the 2023 NFL season.

How Many Sportsbooks are There in Kentucky?

Right now, there are zero KY sportsbooks currently available. However, HB551 stipulates that nine horse racing tracks be allowed to launch both retail sportsbooks and mobile KY sports betting apps. Each track will be allowed to partner with up to three operators meaning that we could see as many as 27 mobile sportsbooks in Kentucky.  

Sportsbooks Partnered with Kentucky Sports Teams

There are no major league professional sports teams based in the state of Kentucky. However TwinSpires Racebook is owned and operated by Churchill Downs, Inc., and is the official advanced wagering service of the Kentucky Derby. In 2023, FanDuel partnered with the Kentucky Derby to become the official betting sponsor.

Caesars Sportsbook Kentucky is the only other sportsbook operator confirmed to have a presence in Kentucky when betting officially becomes legal.

Must be 18+ to participate. T&Cs apply.

Can You Sports Bet in Kentucky?

No, you can not bet on sports in Kentucky as there are no forms of legal sports betting currently available in the state. Local gambling laws currently prohibit sports betting but that will change on June 28 when HB 551 becomes official. 

How to Bet on Sports in Kentucky

You cannot bet on sports in Kentucky yet, but that will change in June. Right now, there are several gambling options available in the state including pari-mutuel horse race wagering and historical horse racing machines (HHRs). You can also buy tickets for the Kentucky State Lottery which offers several gaming options in retail outlets and online. 

Where Can I Bet on Sports in Kentucky?

You cannot wager on any sports in Kentucky right now. However, gamblers will be able to place bets at retail sportsbooks located at one of the state’s licensed horse racing tracks or their gaming facilities. Kentucky online sports betting will also be available at KY sportsbooks

Is Online Sports Betting Legal in Kentucky?

No, online sports betting is not available in Kentucky. However, if the latest attempt to pass sports betting legislation is successful, nine licensed horse racing tracks would be allowed to partner with mobile sports betting providers to launch online betting sites in Kentucky. 

Must be 18+ to participate. T&Cs apply.

How KY Sports Betting Compares to Other Legal States

Since sports betting in Kentucky has not been legalized just yet, we can only surmise how the legal KY sports betting landscape will compare to its neighboring states. HB 551's passing puts the local Kentucky sports betting industry on a par with many of its bordering states such as Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia and Illinois. However, the decision to set the legal sports betting age at 18 sets the Bluegrass State apart as many of its neighbors have set their legal age for sports betting at 21. 

With no major league professional sports teams in the state, sports betting partnerships will be unlike any of those in neighboring states. Unlike its neighbors, and due to the fact that there are no casinos in the state, Kentucky will limit license holders to existing horse racing tracks. 

Timeline for Kentucky Sports Betting Legislation

  • 🗓️ 2023: HB 551 is approved by the state Senate and signed into law by Gov. Andy Beshear.
  • 🗓️ 2022: Rep. Adam Koenig’s House Bill 606, which would “legalize, regulate and tax sports wagering in Kentucky,” is approved by the state House in a 58-30 vote, but fails in the state Senate.
  • 🗓️ 2021: The Kentucky General Assembly passes Senate Bill 120 by a 22-15 vote, which secures the legality of HHR machines.
  • 🗓️ 2020: The Kentucky Supreme Court rules that Historical Horse Racing machines are unconstitutional in Kentucky because they do not fit the definition of pari-mutuel wagering.
  • 🗓️ 2019: Four sports betting bills are introduced in Kentucky, but none gain serious traction.
  • 🗓️ 2018: The U.S. Supreme Court rules, 6-3, to eliminate a 1992 Federal Law that banned sports gambling in the majority of states. States are now able to decide whether they will legalize sports betting or not.
  • 🗓️ 2010: Kentucky’s racing commission modified its definition of pari-mutuel wagering (bets are pooled and split among winners) to allow slot-like historic racing machines, or instant racing, at Kentucky tracks.
  • 🗓️ 1988: More than 60% of voters approve the Kentucky lottery, and the first tickets are sold in 1989.

Who Regulates Kentucky Sports Gambling?

HB 551 calls for sports betting to be administered by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC). The commission is now responsible for creating the necessary regulations to implement and oversee betting. 

What is the Legal Age to Bet in Kentucky?

HB 551 has set the minimum age for sports betting at 18 years of age. This is in line with the local lottery’s minimum age for gambling and pari-mutuel horse race wagering. An attempt to increase the legal age for sports betting in Kentucky from 18 to 21 failed to garner enough support in the House prior to a vote on HB 551. You must be 21 to gamble in Kentucky for some gambling activities such as historical horse racing wagering.

Do I Need to Be a Kentucky Resident to Bet Online?

You do not need to be a Kentucky resident to gamble online within the state. However, you must be located within state lines to do so. You must also be the minimum legal gambling age required for your chosen gambling activity. This is 21 for historical horse racing machines, or 18 for the state lottery and pari-mutuel wagering on horse races. Kentucky online sports betting legislation sets the legal age for sports betting at 18 years. 

Kentucky Sports Betting Licenses

HB 551 makes provisions for nine sports betting licenses in the state. These would be tied to licensed horse racing tracks. The track operators can each partner with up to three Kentucky online sports betting providers. This means that we could see as many as 27 KY sports betting apps and brands in the state in the future. Retail sports betting licenses would be subject to an initial fee of $500,000 followed by an annual fee of $50,000. Meanwhile, online sports betting providers would have to pay $50,000 up front and $10,000 per year thereafter. 

Kentucky Sports Betting Revenue Projections 2023-2024

When the latest sports betting bill was introduced in the House of Representatives, its sponsor Rep. Michael Meredith estimated that the industry could generate as much as $23 million in taxes for the state. This would come from an estimated sports betting handle of between $2.3 billion and $2.4 billion per year. Check out our Kentucky gambling tax calculator if you want to find out how much you might owe on a winning bet.

Choosing the Best Kentucky Online Sportsbook

With so many potential Kentucky online sports betting apps set for launch once sports betting is approved, picking the right sportsbook could be more than a little confusing. However, to maximize your potential for profit and to ensure that you get the best experience possible, you should pay close attention to the following tips for choosing the best Kentucky online sportsbook. 

Read Reviews

Reviews are everything when it comes to picking out the good from the bad in the world of online sportsbooks. This is because users’ experiences can uncover all kinds of potential hiccups in your choice of sportsbook. Likewise, a user review may reveal some great aspects of the sportsbook that may not be apparent when taking it for a test drive. 

What Bets are Allowed?

Some sportsbooks may have limited offerings when it comes to sports wagers. It’s crucial that your choice of online sportsbook offers the complete range of betting types including live betting opportunities. Even though you may not intend to create same game parlays or live wagers at the outset, there will come a time in the future when you may want that option. So make sure that there is a good range of betting types allowed.

Odds Pricing

Odds can vary from sportsbook to sportsbook even for the exact same type of wager. This is where some KY sportsbooks may stand out from the crowd. Remember that even half a point difference in odds could make a significant difference to your potential winnings. This is particularly true for parlay wagers where better odds in one leg of your wager will impact your profitability on the following legs. This is why we recommend that you open several accounts with competing KY sportsbooks and compare odds pricing when placing wagers.

Welcome Bonus

The fabled welcome bonus is a great way to boost your potential profits or place a wager without investing any of your own cash. Welcome bonuses come in all shapes and forms and could be anything from a deposit bonus where the sportsbook matches your deposit amount to site credit. It’s important to read the terms and conditions of any welcome bonuses at KY sportsbooks as they will often have wagering requirements that you will need to fulfill to take full advantage of the offer.

User Experience

User experience can play a vital role in how quickly you can place a wager which is important for those time sensitive bets. Take a close look at navigation at KY online sportsbooks and see how they compare. Is it easy to find markets? Is there a search feature? Is the betting slip intuitive? All of these can have a big impact on how you place your wagers.

Deposit + Withdrawals

Banking methods are usually quite similar across the board at sportsbooks, but don’t assume that every provider will offer the same options. This is particularly true when it comes to deposit methods and withdrawal methods. For example, a KY sports betting provider may offer credit cards as a deposit method but may not allow withdrawals made in the same way. You should also take a look at the length of time it takes to process a withdrawal. Some Kentucky sportsbooks may be significantly faster than others.

Customer Service

Customer service is a hugely important factor when choosing the best Kentucky online sportsbook. Ideally, you should look for a sportsbook that offers a live chat feature so you can get an instant solution to your issue at any time of the day. In a perfect world this would be available 24/7, but this is not always the case. You should also read reviews to see how fast response times are for each sportsbook.

Must be 18+ to participate. T&Cs apply.

Why Sign Up For Multiple Kentucky Sports Betting Sites?

We always recommend that you sign up for accounts at multiple Kentucky sports betting sites. There are a number of reasons why this is a good idea but first and foremost is the fact that you can take full advantage of any available welcome bonuses for new users. This would allow you to maximize your profits and take each of the sportsbooks for a test drive in the process. 

Secondly is the fact that odds can vary from sportsbook to sportsbook. If you have multiple accounts, you can shop around each time you want to place a wager and once again maximize those profits by choosing the sportsbook with the best odds.

  • Promotions for Kentucky Sportsbooks

    While there are no Kentucky sportsbook promos currently on offer, we can take a look at what sports betting providers offer in neighboring states to get a feel for what may be available in Kentucky. The following are the most popular welcome offers and promotions in states with legal sports betting. 

  • Free Bets

    Free bets are often offered as a welcome bonus to new users. These will be in the form of site credit and will require a user to register for a new account and possibly make a first deposit. The free wager may be tied to a certain event or sport and will have some wagering requirements. Free bets are sometimes offered as promotion to existing customers in conjunction with another bet. For example, a KY sportsbook may offer a free bet to all users that place a wager of $10 or more on a certain event at specific odds. 

  • No Deposit Bonus

    The no deposit bonus isn’t used as often as the other promotions on this list and it’s usually reserved only for new users. The idea here is that the no deposit bonus gives you an opportunity to test the waters and place a wager without using any of your own cash. This is ideal for new bettors who may not be familiar with how sports betting works. However, this type of bonus will require you to make a deposit and wager a minimum amount of your own money before you can withdraw any winnings from the bonus. 

  • Deposit Match Bonus

    A simple promotion that encourages both new users and existing customers to make a deposit at the sportsbook. Kentucky sportsbooks may offer to match your deposit by a certain percentage and up to a specific amount. For example, a 50% deposit match up to $100 means that if you deposit $20, the sportsbook will match that with $10 in site credit. This is available up to a maximum of $100. 

  • Odds Boosts

    Odds boosts are regular promotions that we may see offered by Kentucky sportsbooks. This is when the sportsbook offers to boost odds on a specific wager for a specific event. This gives you a chance to boost your potential winnings. However, odds boosts are very specific and are not always available. 

Retail Sports Betting vs Mobile Sports Betting

Retail sports betting is when you place a wager in person at a physical sportsbook. In Kentucky, this is likely to be at one of the state’s nine horse racing tracks or the track’s gaming facilities. Mobile sports betting, on the other hand, is when you place a wager through an online sportsbook. 

The latest sports betting bills makes provisions for 27 mobile sports betting platforms to launch once legislation is approved. The main advantage of mobile sports betting over retail sports betting in Kentucky is one of convenience. Being able to place a wager from anywhere in the state is a major advantage. This is especially true when you take into account international sports betting markets. With retail sportsbooks restricted in the hours that they are open, someone using a mobile sports betting app could make wagers at any time of the day or night.

Available Sports Wagers at Legal Sports Betting Sites

Here are some of the most common wager types that may be found at legal Kentucky online sportsbooks once they launch in the near future.

  • Moneylines

    The simplest form of betting is a moneyline bet, which involves predicting the outcome of a single game or event. In this type of wager, one team is regarded as the favorite while the other is regarded as the underdog. The favored team is marked by odds with a negative sign in front of them.

  • Parlays

    Parlay bets are a type of sports betting that offers bigger thrills and the possibility of bigger payouts. Essentially, a parlay is a single bet that consolidates two or more separate wagers. This could involve various sports or a blend of different types of bets, such as a moneyline wager and a proposition bet. Given that a parlay bet involves multiple events, the likelihood of winning isn’t quite as good but the payouts are certainly better. 

  • Totals

    Also known as the over/under bet, the totals wager is a simple bet where you must predict if the total combined score in a single game is greater than or less than a specific number set out by the sportsbook. For example, the sportsbook may set the total for a basketball game at 130.5 points. You must then decide whether the combined score of both teams will be over or under that figure. It’s a very simple wager that is great for neutral fans watching a game. 

  • Points Spreads

    A points spread bet hinges on the difference in the winning or losing margin for a team. In most cases, the more dominant team is given a handicap by a particular number of points, based on the sportsbook's evaluation of the relative strengths of the teams. For example, the Wildcats might be -5.5 against the Louisville Cardinals. This means that the Wildcats must win by 6 or more points while the Cardinals can lose by 1-5 points. You need to predict which of these results is most likely. 

  • Futures Bet

    Futures bets are a particular type of long-term wager made on a team or athlete at the start of a season or tournament. If placed early, these bets can be especially lucrative since the odds might be considerably higher. For example, betting on the Wildcats to win the March Madness tournament as early as September could get you some great odds. 

  • Prop Bets

    Proposition bets, often referred to as prop bets, center on particular events or statistics within a game, such as a player's performance or the number of points they score. A good example of a prop bet would be wagering on a player to hit a home run in a baseball game. These bets are usually unrelated to the game's outcome, making them a preferred option for those interested in live betting.

  • Live Betting

    Live betting or in-game betting is when you place a wager on a game that is already underway. This could be something like the next player to score or how many points will be scored before the end of the quarter. This is an increasingly popular form of betting particularly with online sportsbooks that offer live streaming of events. 

Kentucky Sports To Bet

The Bluegrass State offers plenty of different sports to place a wager on. Here's a breakdown of what sports you can bet on in Kentucky once sports betting is legalized.

NFL Betting

The NFL is a hugely popular league in Kentucky despite the state having no franchise of its own. This is in most part thanks to the success of the state’s college football teams whose players have gone on to play in the big leagues. 

NBA Betting

Basketball is possibly the most popular sport in Kentucky thanks to the major rivalries of its college basketball teams. As you may well know, the Wildcats are the most successful team in NCAA Division I history and so it should come as no surprise that NBA betting will be a hugely popular choice for Kentuckians. 

MLB Betting

Kentucky is home to two popular and successful minor league teams that are affiliates to MLB teams the St. Louis Cardinals and the Tampa Bay Rays. The success of the Bowling Green Hot Rods and the Louisville Bats has created something of an affinity within the state for those two MLB teams in particular. Expect great promos on MLB games once sports betting officially launches in Kentucky. 

Horse Racing

If there is one sport Kentucky is known for more than any other, it's horse racing. The Bluegrass State is home to five thoroughbred racetracks - Keeneland, Turfway Park, Kentucky Downs, Ellis Park and Churchill Downs - home of the Kentucky Derby. KY also hosts harness racing at The Red Mile, Bluegrass Downs, and Thunder Ridge Raceway. Unlike other sports, there is a long history of horse betting in Kentucky.

Soccer Betting

There are two professional soccer teams that play in the USL and NWSL. These are Louisville City FC and Racing Louisville FC. While these may not be major league teams, they have still built up a solid following within the state. 

College Sports Betting

This is where sports betting enthusiasts will get serious about local teams. College sports are huge in Kentucky and the latest attempts to pass through legislation allows for betting on both pro teams and college teams. We imagine that the Wildcats’ rivalry with the Cardinals is going to attract some serious betting activity. 

Kentucky Teams To Bet on

As you already know, there are no major league sports teams based in Kentucky and so college teams have unrivaled support in the Bluegrass State. The latest legislative move includes betting on college sports within the state so it’s likely that the following teams will be some of the most wagered on teams once sports betting finally launches. 

  • Kentucky Wildcats

    The Kentucky Wildcats are the teams that compete across multiple sports representing the University of Kentucky. The most popular though is basketball where there is a huge rivalry between the Wildcats and the Louisville Cardinals. The Wildcats men’s basketball team is the most successful in history in the NCAA Division I. 

  • Louisville Cardinals

    While the rivalry between the Wildcats and the Louisville Cardinals is intense, the Cardinals record simply cannot compare to its in-state rival. The University of Louisville’s most successful year to date is 2013 when it won the BCS bowl game and got as far as the NCAA Final Four with both its men's and women's teams. The college basketball team also made it to the World Series, but failed to win. 

  • Western Kentucky Hilltoppers

    The Western Kentucky Hilltoppers are the athletic teams of Western Kentucky University, located in Bowling Green, Kentucky. The Hilltoppers compete in the NCAA Division I as a member of Conference USA. The football team has won eleven conference championships and has appeared in numerous bowl games. In basketball, the Hilltoppers have reached the NCAA tournament twenty-two times, with three Sweet Sixteen appearances and one Final Four appearance in 1971. The women's basketball team has also enjoyed success, reaching the NCAA tournament six times.

Other Kentucky Betting Options

While gambling is heavily restricted in Kentucky, there are still some other options available aside from sports betting. Prior to a sports betting launch, here are some other betting options you can try out in the Bluegrass State. 

Historical Horse Racing in Kentucky

Historical horse racing is a booming industry here in Kentucky and, as the name suggests, it’s placing wagers on horse races that have taken place in the past. These are usually races from far flung corners of the world so you won’t see reruns of the Kentucky Derby. Historical Horse Racing wagering is hosted on HHR machines that are located in seven venues throughout the state. These are owned and operated by the state’s licensed horse racing tracks and if proposed legislation is approved they will be home to the state’s first retail sportsbooks. 

Kentucky Horse Racing

It’s no secret that horse racing is a pretty big deal here in Kentucky with the likes of Churchill Downs calling the state home. There are currently seven licensed horse racing tracks all of which will be allowed to apply for sports betting licenses. There is a strong horse racing calendar with the heralded Kentucky Derby the standout racing festival of the year. 

Kentucky Lottery

The Kentucky Lottery launched in April of 1989 following a vote by the general public. There are over 5,000 retail outlets where you can purchase tickets while the lottery’s many gaming options are also available online. The minimum age to play any lottery game is 18. 

Must be 18+ to participate. T&Cs apply.

Deposit and Withdraw from KY Sports Betting Sites

The experienced operators likely to be licensed to create KY sports betting sites will offer a host of ways in which you can deposit money into your account. The process should be as swift and painless as possible. Among the methods available should be:

VISAInstant Deposits1-5 Day(s) Withdrawals
MasterCardInstant DepositsNo Withdrawals
American ExpressInstant DepositsNo Withdrawals
VenmoInstant Deposits2-5 Day(s) for Withdrawals
PayPalInstant Deposits2-7 Day(s) Withdrawals
Bank Transfer1-3 Day(s) for Deposits3-7 Days for Withdrawals

In all instances, you should have a high degree of confidence regarding the safety of financial transactions with an online sportsbook. The companies in question have extensive experience in the field and employ state-of-the-art security protocols to ensure your personal information and data is protected at all times.

It is also essential that you make sure the sportsbook you choose offers options for withdrawing your cash that suit you. Sometimes the list of ways to get your money out is shorter than the range of methods for putting it in. Check that you will be able to withdraw quickly and easily.

Responsible Gambling in Kentucky

Responsible gambling is a priority for regulators in the state of Kentucky and all licensed gambling providers must take the safety of their customers seriously at all times. The Kentucky Council on Problem Gambling (KYCPG) provides support to those who suffer from problem gambling and can also refer those in need to various gambling support groups and counselors. 

Kentucky Sports Betting FAQs


Ciaran has written for both the sports betting and iGaming industries for over a decade. He is a true sports fanatic, and he covers a wide range of sports at

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