Legal Kentucky Sports Betting

Kentucky has not passed any legislation to launch legal sports betting as of yet, but this could change in 2021. There is currently a House Bill (HB 241) that is awaiting review at a forthcoming legislative session. This bill will bring forth both legal sports betting and daily fantasy sports (DFS) to the Bluegrass State. The current bill is identical to a bill pushed in 2020 but was updated to be reviewed in 2021. Should this bill pass in the House, the next phase would be Senate approval, and then Governor Approval. Kentucky sports betting could become a reality soon.

Online sports betting is still readily available in Kentucky right now, as there are no laws preventing online sportsbooks from operating. This is the only current legal option available in the state and has been the primary way Kentucky sports betting fans wagered for years. Kentucky is also surrounded by active betting markets in West Virginia, Indiana, Illinois, and Tennessee. Many players simply travel across state lines to wager, which brings the revenue away from the state. Reps are working to keep sports betting revenue in Kentucky with the new bill.

Kentucky Sports Betting And Gambling Laws

Kentucky has a strange mix of what is allowed and what is not allowed in regards to gambling laws. Pari-mutuel racing has a long history in Kentucky, so that is, of course, legal and allowed (as is instant racing betting). Kentucky has also installed a state lottery alongside high stakes bingo. But casinos are not allowed to operate within state borders. More importantly, sports betting is not regulated by the state. But that will soon change.

There are currently two bills in Kentucky’s state Congress that will legalize sports betting within state borders. Bills KY H12 and KY S 23 will legalize and regulate sports betting in Kentucky. Although Kentucky is strict against casino gambling, there is a good chance that these bills can pass and legal Kentucky sports betting will happen in land-based locations within the state.

#1

Bovada Sportsbook

Serving Kentucky Sports Bettors For Years

Since Kentucky has yet to pass laws to bring its own state-sponsored sportsbooks to the forefront, bettors in Kentucky have been trusting Bovada. Bovada is a safe and legal Kentucky online sportsbook that has been an industry leader for many years now. Bovada is an industry leader in online sports betting thanks to its wide variety of odds, cutting-edge website interface, and stellar customer service. Bovada is completely legal in Kentucky, thanks to being located outside of the United States, and has been taking Ky bets for years without a single legal issue. Next time you are looking to bet on one of your favorite teams like the Kentucky Wildcats, Louisville Cardinals, and all the Cincinnati teams, give Bovada a shot.

Rating: 5 Star Rating

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#2

BetOnline Sportsbook

Kentucky’s Go-To Online Sportsbook

While lawmakers in Kentucky still mill over the decision to bring sponsored sports betting to the state, the best place to bet on sports in KY is through online sportsbooks like BetOnline. The best way to bet on Kentucky Wildcats basketball or any other sports is through these sites, which provide completely legal sports betting in KY. BetOnline has established itself as one of the best of these sites thanks to their incredibly varied and wide set of odds available. BetOnline regularly posts thousands of new odds for players looking to wager in Kentucky, on nearly every single sport in the entire world. Bettors can also access BetOnline through their mobile devices, with no app download required.

Rating: 5 Star Rating

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#3

MyBookie Sportsbook

A Bucket Of Bets For Kentucky

The state of Kentucky is filled with sports fans, and even more so with fans coming to enjoy the sports KY has to offer from other states. With things like the Kentucky Derby as well as Kentucky and Louisville basketball, there is such a rich sporting history in the state that it can be hard to believe there are not yet any formal legalized sports betting in Kentucky. That is where MyBookie comes in, ready to offer the best odds on the market for all of the biggest sports. Players can regularly find the best price for a bet on MyBookie when compared to other sportsbooks. All it takes is some basic info to get you signed up at MyBookie, and ready to place your next winning wager.

Ratings: 5 Star Rating

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  • Full Live Bet Capability
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#4

XBet Sportsbook

Best Bluegrass Sportsbook

The heritage and pageantry of Kentucky sports can attract many bettors to the state. When it comes time to bet on the Kentucky Derby, fans are turning to one of the newest sportsbooks on the market in XBet. XBet is a full-service legal sportsbook and racebook that is available to all KY residents. When the big race is ready to run, no one wants to be left without a bet. Fans who go to XBet can sign up and receive an instant bonus to their bankroll simply for creating an account. It’s rewards like this, in addition to some very lucrative odds, that keep players coming back to XBet.

Ratings: 5 Star Rating

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#5

SportsBetting Sportsbook

Break The Bank At SportsBetting

While most of Kentucky has its sports fan lineage lined up since birth, many fans have yet to dedicate themselves to a legal online sports betting destination. For those that fall into this category, why not choose the sportsbook that does exactly what their name says. SportsBetting is a newer sportsbook that has quickly gained attention thanks to its commitment to the user experience. The site interface at SportsBetting is set up in a way that any bettor can find exactly what they need, even if they have never used an online sportsbook before. The site also has the ability to be accessed from mobile browsers, making the experience that much more convenient.

Ratings: 5 Star Rating

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Status Of Legal Sports Betting In Kentucky For 2021

Legal sports betting in Kentucky is no longer an option in 2021 as House Bill 241 died in the House on March 12. Bill sponsor and Representative Adam Koenig introduced the legislation in 2020 and brought it back in 2021, not changing a single word of the draft. However, 2021 was a shortened session and much of the focus went toward legalizing Historical Horse Racing (HHR), leaving no time for sports betting.

The bill, in its exact form, would make retail and mobile sportsbooks legal along with wagering on professional and collegiate sports, online poker, and DFS. It will be presented this way in 2022 for the third time. Koenig believes 2022 will be the year that his sports wagering bill becomes law for Kentucky as the session is longer and passage is less difficult in even-numbered years than in odd-numbered ones. And using the same legislation three years in a row means that lawmakers are very much acquainted with his proposal making the 2022 outlook for legal sports wagering in Kentucky a favorable one. 

What Teams Can I Bet On?

Kentucky is proud to say that they have heavy hitters when it comes to Division I collegiate teams. Sports bettors can rest easy if they choose a team from Kentucky to bet on, but that is not their only option. If bettors from Kentucky visit an offshore site like Bovada, they can not only bet on one of their local teams, they can bet on any team from nearly any sport.

Popular Kentucky Teams

Kentucky Wildcats (NCAA) Louisville Cardinals (NCAA) Cincinnati Bengals (NFL)
Cincinnati Reds (MLB) New Orleans Pelicans (NBA) Nashville Predators (NHL)

Is There Anywhere In Kentucky That I Can I Bet On Sports?

Thanks to international sportsbooks, you can legally bet on sports anywhere in Kentucky. These online gambling operators are able to be accessed from most smartphones and tablets, leading to anytime anywhere sports betting on the go. These sites offer full-service sports betting with the same odds, betting lines, and wager types that you would find at a land-based operation. Unfortunately, if you are looking for a physical sportsbook to bet on sports in Kentucky you won’t find any. Kentucky has not regulated land-based sports betting in its legislation. Until the Bluegrass State legalizes sports betting, residents and tourists in Kentucky’s only betting option are online.

Where’s The Closest Place To Me To Bet?

Unfortunately, there are no casinos available for bettors in Kentucky. The best location they can go to place any kind of wager is the horse race tracks. However, none of these locations have sportsbooks opened for legal sports betting, and they are limited to live horse racing betting and instant racing (aka Historical Horse Racing, or HHR, machines). However, we are still able to give you a good idea on where legal Kentucky sports betting will happen when any bills are passed and the activity is made into law:

Potential Cities With Kentucky Sportsbooks

  • Henderson
  • Lexington
  • Louisville

Until the bills being considered by Kentucky’s state legislature (or one like it) is passed into law, bettors will have to travel to do some land-based sports betting. They will not have to go far because they can head over to West Virginia for sports betting. If bettors from Kentucky want to make a trip out of it to go sports betting, here is a list of cities they can go to in neighboring states:

Nearby Cities

  • Charles Town, WV
  • White Sulphur Springs, WV

Horse Racing Betting In Kentucky

The pride and joy of Kentucky is the Kentucky Derby. The Kentucky Derby has a long history within the state and it’s the world most prestigious horse race. Unfortunately, that means going there will be extremely crowded and busy. If you don’t want to deal with the crowd but you want to make bets on the Kentucky Derby, it’s never been easier. All you have to do is go online to an offshore site like SportsBetting and look for the racebook. There, you can enjoy and bet on the Kentucky Derby without having to deal with the huge crowd, and you can also wager on daily races simulcasted from all over the US and UK.

Daily Fantasy Sports In Kentucky

Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) is in an interesting position in Kentucky. Fans can readily enjoy both DraftKings and FanDuel while in Kentucky. The interesting thing is that Kentucky failed to pass a bill that would have regulated DFS within state borders. But this is not a negative thing, all that means is that DFS operators do not have to report to the state legislature. DFS players can still access DraftKings and FanDuel for contests. Players in Kentucky can potentially large cash prizes in public tournaments even if they don’t finish first. Or they can play in private contests against their friends.

Legal Kentucky Sports Betting FAQs

Can I Bet Real Money On Sports In Kentucky?

Real money sports betting in Kentucky happens everyday by people who use the legal internet platforms of Bovada, BetOnline, MyBookie, SportsBetting, and XBet. These sites are legal and allow gamblers in Kentucky to bet real money on sports matchups happening around the world.

Is Online Sports Betting Safe In Kentucky?

Online sports betting is the safest way for sports bettors in Kentucky to wager on sporting events. These operators are licensed and regulated to do business, not to mention legal, making them the most secure way for gamblers in Kentucky to bet on the games.

Will Sports Betting In Kentucky Ever Be Legal?

Sports betting in Kentucky is expected to see a favorable legal outcome in 2022. The 2021 session was focused on Historical Horse Racing (HHR) legalization but it set the table for 2022 sports betting legalization talks.

Will I Get Arrested For Sports Betting In Kentucky?

The internet sportsbooks listed on this page are legal, making it near impossible for a user in Kentucky to be arrested. Using a local bookie will get you in trouble, but it would likely be the person running the unregulated gambling operation that would get arrested, not the bettor themselves.

What Is The Legal Sports Betting Age In Kentucky?

Legally, Kentuckians must be at least 18 to wager on sports in the state. This is good news as all online sports betting operators requires their players to be 18+ to join.

Where Is The Best Place To Bet On Sports In Kentucky?

The best place to bet on sports in Kentucky is through internet sports wagering operators. These operators can be accessed by any smartphone, essentially making them legal, mobile sportsbooks. There are no casinos or land-based sportsbooks in Kentucky nor are there any mobile applications available in the state.

Can I Bet On Sports With My Friends In Kentucky Legally?

There are zero laws in place to prohibit wagering on sports with friends in Kentucky. Betting on the games with your buddies is 100% legal and a great way to make watching sports competitions even more competitive on an individual level.