Online Betting in Kentucky Overview

If you're from the Bluegrass State and have been itching to get in on some online betting action, I've got some fantastic news for you. Kentucky, known for its iconic horse races and mint juleps, has finally jumped on the online sports betting bandwagon. That's right! With the recent passage of HB 551, you can now legally place your bets online.

So what’s the latest scoop in Kentucky’s sports betting scene? The Kentucky Derby just set a new handle record at $320.5 million in all wagers in just a single day. There’s also the rise of the Churchill Downs’ record-setting revenue of $590.9 million, showing how prominent the sports betting industry is in the state right now.

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📖 Published on: August 10th, 2023

✍️ Updated: 1 month ago

⏳ 12 mins read

So, whether you're rooting for the Wildcats or just want to make the Super Bowl a tad more interesting, Kentucky's got you covered. And with the digital age in full swing, you can expect a slew of online platforms popping up, ready to take your bets. But before you dive in, let's get a quick snapshot of what's happening in the world of Kentucky sports betting.


Best offers in Kentucky as of June 2024

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Bonus Bets
Bet $1 and get $365 in Bonus Bets
Bet365 review
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4.3 /5 for Ts & Cs. KY only.
Must be 21+ to participate or wager.
Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER.
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Bonus Bets
Up To $1500 in Bonus Bets Paid Back if your First Bet Does Not Win
BetMGM Sports review
gamblespot score
4.6 /5 for Ts & Cs. KY only.
Must be 21+ to participate or wager.
New Customer Offer (If applicable).
Bonus bets expire in 7 days from issuance.
Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER.

Best online betting sites in Kentucky

With so many options out there, which online betting sites should you trust with your hard-earned cash? Here's a quick rundown of the top dogs in the game



A global titan in the betting world, bet365 brings its vast experience to Kentucky, ensuring top-tier betting options for all.

bet365 sportsbook image



DraftKings Sportsbook

Another fantasy sports giant turned real-world betting champ, DraftKings offers a comprehensive platform with tons of promotions to keep things spicy.

DraftKings sportsbook image



Caesars Sportsbook

The name says it all. With a legacy in the casino industry, Caesars offers a robust sports betting platform, complete with juicy promotions and bonuses.

Caesars Sportsbook image




From fantasy leagues to real-world betting, FanDuel has made quite the transition. Their platform is super user-friendly, making it perfect for both rookies and seasoned bettors.

Fanduel sportsbook image



BetMGM Sports

This isn't their first rodeo. BetMGM is a powerhouse in the betting world, offering a sleek interface, diverse sports options, and some of the best odds out there. Plus, with their recent partnership in Kentucky, they're all set to dominate the scene.

BetMGM Sports image


How to sign up at online sportsbook in Kentucky

Alright, team, let's get down to business. Ready to place your bets but not sure where to start? Here's a step-by-step guide to get you rolling:

  1. Find your app: Whip out your smartphone and head over to the Google Play Store (for Android users) or the Apple Store (for those on Team iPhone). Punch in the name of your chosen sportsbook, like "BetMGM Sportsbook," and watch it pop up.
  2. Download & install: Hit that 'Install' or 'Get' button and let the magic happen. In a jiffy, you'll have the app ready to roll.
  3. Register: Launch the app and look for the 'Sign Up' or 'Register' button. They'll ask for some basic info (name, address, maybe even your SSN) to get you set up.
  4. Log In & bet: Once you're all registered, log in, and dive into the action. Whether you're betting on the Derby or the next big football game, it's all at your fingertips.

Sports betting Kentucky image

Sports betting bonuses and how they work

If you're new to the sports betting scene, you might be scratching your head, wondering why every site seems eager to shower you with bonuses. Picture this: you walk into a party, and everyone's eager to hand you a gift. Tempting, isn't it? But there's always a twist. Let's delve deeper.

Sports betting bonuses are essentially a sportsbook's way of saying, "Thanks for picking us!" These are incentives crafted to not only attract you but also ensure you stay loyal. Consider them the icing on your betting cake.

Now, there are several types of bonuses you might stumble upon:


Welcome bonuses

Tailored for the rookies. Register, make your initial deposit, and voila! The sportsbook will match a portion of your deposit. For instance, if BetMGM promises a 100% match up to $200 and you deposit that amount, you're looking at a cool $400 to kickstart your betting journey.


Free bets

Platforms like FanDuel might hand you a free bet as a welcome gift. It's a no-risk opportunity to test the waters.


Risk-free bets

Essentially, the sportsbook's way of saying, "Give it your best shot, and if it doesn't work out, we've got your back." Make your bet, and if luck isn't on your side, they'll refund your stake, typically in the form of bonus cash.


Loyalty programs

Loyalty pays off. Stay with a sportsbook, and you might find yourself reaping rewards. Accumulate points with every bet, which can later be exchanged for cash, additional bets, or other goodies.


But here's the kicker: while bonuses sound fantastic, they often come with conditions, like wagering requirements. So, always be sure to scan the details!

Popular sports and bet types in Kentucky

Kentucky is renowned for its horse racing and bourbon, but there's more to it. When diving into sports betting, Kentucky sure packs a punch. College basketball is a big deal, especially with giants like the University of Louisville and the University of Kentucky dominating the court. But there's also a fervor for NFL, MLB, and NBA matches.

Diving into the types of bets, Kentucky offers a rich menu:

Kentucky sports betting image

  • Moneyline bets: Simply select the victor. No frills.
  • Point spreads: It's about the victory margin, not just the win.
  • Over/Under: Wager on the cumulative points in a match.
  • Parlays: Merge several bets for a heftier return.
  • Prop bets: Engaging side wagers, like guessing the first player to net point

Depositing and withdrawing at sportsbook sites

Navigating the financial side of sports betting can seem a bit daunting, especially if you're new to the game. But, fear not! Modern sportsbooks have made the process of depositing and withdrawing funds as smooth as a well-aged Kentucky bourbon. With the rise of digital technology, online sportsbooks now offer a plethora of payment options, ensuring that bettors can manage their bankrolls with ease and security.

Whether you're looking to start with a small wager or you've hit that big win and are ready to cash out, understanding the ins and outs of the cashier section is crucial. Plus, with many sportsbooks now offering instant deposit methods and faster withdrawal times, you can jump into the action or enjoy your winnings quicker than ever.

Always remember to play responsibly, and keep an eye out for any transaction fees or processing times. After all, in the world of sports betting, knowledge is as valuable as a winning ticket!


How to deposit

  1. Log in: Fire up your sportsbook app or website and log in.
  2. Head to the cashier: Navigate to the 'Cashier' or 'Deposit' section.
  3. Pick your payment: Choose from options like credit cards, bank transfers, e-wallets, or even cryptocurrency.
  4. Enter the amount: Decide how much you want to deposit, punch in the amount, and confirm.


How to withdraw

  1. Back to the cashier: Log in and head to the 'Cashier' or 'Withdraw' section.
  2. Choose your method: Choose your preferred method to get your funds. This might be a bank transfer, e-wallet, or check.
  3. Enter the amount: Decide how much you want to withdraw, enter the amount, and hit confirm.
  4. Wait: Depending on your chosen method, it might take a few hours to a few days for your cash to land. Always remember to check for any fees or limits, and keep in mind that some sportsbooks might require verification before your first withdrawal

Miscellaneous insights on Kentucky sports betting

Kentucky, with its deep-rooted association with horse racing, has always been a focal point in the sports betting conversation. But the landscape took a significant turn recently, and it's not just about the horses anymore. Let's unpack the recent changes and their implications for the Bluegrass State.


Rules of sports betting

With the enactment of HB 551, the rules of the game have changed. While pari-mutuel wagering on horse races remains a staple, the state has now expanded its horizons. The Kentucky Speedway and horse tracks are gearing up to welcome bettors to their new retail sportsbook operations.

However, it's essential to note that while the age limit for horse race betting remains at 18, the same age restriction applies to other sports betting avenues under the new law. This unified age approach ensures clarity and simplicity for residents.

As with any new legislation, it's crucial for bettors to familiarize themselves with the specifics. While the law has paved the way for retail sportsbooks, the dynamics of online sports betting and other related regulations will be interesting to watch as they unfold.

Kentucky Sports Betting Laws and History

Kentucky's journey with sports betting has been a blend of tradition and evolution. While horse racing has been the crown jewel for over a century, the state's approach to other forms of sports betting has been more conservative. That is, until HB 551 entered the scene.

In a landmark move, HB 551 became law in March, marking a pivotal shift in Kentucky's sports betting narrative. This bill, after navigating through a lengthy legislative process, finally got the green light in the state Senate. The implications? Legal sports betting is now a reality in Kentucky for those aged 18 and over.

The new law has set the stage for both the Kentucky Speedway and the state's nine horse tracks to kick off their retail sportsbook operations. This move not only diversifies the betting options for Kentuckians but also promises a potential economic boost for the state.

As of the time of writing, there are a total of eight sportsbooks present in the state, with Circa Sports being the eighth and latest operator to join in on the hype in Kentucky’s sports betting scene. So far, most sports books in the state have enjoyed double-digit holds over the previous month, with January and February recording huge amounts of revenue.

This year has also seen Kentucky take horse racing bets up a notch, with the likes of the Kentucky Derby and Churchill Downs logging huge numbers and massive betting handles in the month of May, showing how sports betting has taken leaps in the state so far.



Kentucky's sports betting landscape has witnessed a transformative change with the introduction of HB 551. Moving beyond its iconic horse racing legacy, the state has now embraced a broader spectrum of sports betting, welcoming a new era for enthusiasts and operators alike.

The integration of retail sportsbooks at prominent venues like the Kentucky Speedway and horse tracks signifies the state's commitment to evolving with the times while staying true to its roots. As Kentucky charts its path forward in this new betting landscape, it promises exciting times ahead for bettors, businesses, and sports aficionados.


What is the current status of sports betting in Kentucky?

Sports betting in Kentucky underwent a transformation with the passage of HB 551 in March, which legalized sports betting for individuals aged 18 and over.

How can one start betting online on sports in Kentucky?

Thanks to the clear guidelines provided by HB 551, residents of Kentucky can now engage in online sports betting. They can simply register on licensed online sportsbook platforms operating within the state and place their bets on their favorite sports and events.

What are the laws and regulations related to sports betting in Kentucky?

Kentucky's sports betting landscape is primarily governed by HB 551, a law passed recently that allows legal sports betting for those 18 and over and permits venues such as the Kentucky Speedway and horse tracks to host retail sportsbook operations.

What types of sports and bets are popular in Kentucky?

Kentucky is renowned for its horse racing, but there's also a significant interest in college basketball, particularly with teams like the University of Louisville and the University of Kentucky. Among the state's bettors, bet types like Moneyline Bets, Point Spreads, and Over - Under are becoming increasingly popular.

Paul Daniel Flores
Writer l Sports and Esports Expert

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