Kentucky Sports Betting Apps – Best KY Sportsbooks in February 2024

The Kentucky sports betting industry is yet to launch. But the good news is that it’s coming very soon! That’s because the Senate voted to legalize sports betting in the Bluegrass State at the end of March 2023.

Although the new laws officially came into effect on June 28, no sportsbooks have launched. However, there is still plenty of time to get started. The bill stipulates that the industry must be up and running within six months, creating a deadline of September 28th, 2023.

The new Kentucky sports betting legislation allows each of the state’s nine racetracks to apply for a license. This will give them permission to operate retail betting, as well as up to three mobile sportsbooks each. That’s a possible 27 online betting sites in total. The first legal and fully-licensed sites are anticipated to launch on September 7, 2023.

Top Kentucky Sports Betting Apps & Sites February 2024

Before we learn more about the state of sports betting in Kentucky, let’s quickly run through the best online sportsbooks. Our team of industry experts invests many hours into researching the safest betting sites with the latest features. Expect generous odds, bountiful promotions and secure payment methods from these top online bookmakers.

These are the best Kentucky sports betting sites & apps available today:

1

Draftkings-Sportsbook-Kentucky

Bonus

$1000

20%

Bonus

$1000

20%

99

points

  • Get a 20% sports betting bonus up $1000
  • Massive range of sports and markets in Kentucky
  • DFS and Casino games available

99

points

DraftKings review
Code: BBCSUSA

2

BetMGM-Sportsbook-Kentucky

First

$1000

Bet Offer

First

$1000

Bet Offer

98

points

  • Claim a first bet offer up $1000
  • Excellent sports betting app available in Kentucky
  • Wide range of sports and betting options

98

points

BetMGM review

3

Fanduel-Sportsbook-kentucky

No Sweat

$1000

First Bet

No Sweat

$1000

First Bet

96

points

  • Licensed KY Sportsbook
  • Get up to $1000 in bonuses and refunds
  • Fanduel has a great reputation and excellent customer service.

96

points

Fanduel review
Code: BBC

4

pointsbet-sportsbook-kentucky

Second Chance

5 x $100

Bets

Second Chance

5 x $100

Bets

95

points

  • Qualify for up to 5 second chance bets worth $100 each
  • Huge range of sports and betting options
  • Promo code: BBC

95

points

PointsBet review

Contents

In this complete guide to sports betting in Kentucky, we’ll cover a lot of ground. From the current legal situation and the history behind it, to the various promotions, payment methods and features at the best online bookmakers. Finally, we’ll walk you through the steps of registering at an online sportsbook in KY.

If you wish to skip directly to any of these topics, simply use the links below.

Yes! The Kentucky Senate voted 25-12 in favor of HB 551 on March 30, 2023. This legislation came into effect 90 days after its passage, in line with the state’s constitution. However, no sportsbooks were actually in a position to launch by June 28.

That shouldn’t be a problem, though. The bill states that the industry has a full six months to start operations, meaning a deadline of September 28, 2023. The first retail sportsbooks are expected to open their doors on Septmber 7, with online betting sites following later that month.

Sports betting in the commonwealth of Kentucky

History of Sports Betting in Kentucky

This history of Kentucky sports betting is an interesting one. The Bluegrass State has always been conservative and opposed to most forms of gambling. Yet it has a long love affair with the sport of kings, as home to one of the world’s most famous racetracks.

Churchill Downs has hosted prestigious events such as the Breeders’ Cup, as well as the annual Kentucky Derby. However, betting on horse racing in KY has always operated on a pari-mutuel basis. All wagers enter a pool, which is divided up among the winners. There has never been any form of legalized fixed odds betting in the state. And certainly not on sports or casino games.

Timeline of Events

Here’s a timeline of events which led to the recent legalization of sports betting in Kentucky.

  • 1792 – The state’s constitution is created. Gambling features prominently, with most forms banned outright. However, pari-mutuel wagers are permitted on greyhound and horse racing.
  • 1875 – Churchill Downs racetrack opens its doors, giving Kentuckians a chance to see the country’s top horses run. And of course, the opportunity to bet on them.
  • 2011 – Historical Horse Racing (HHR) terminals begin to appear in Kentucky, taking advantage of a loophole in the law. They use RNG software to determine results, but archive footage of real races to simulate races.
  • 2019 – The first sports betting bills are introduced, but are only met with tentative support, so no progress is made.
  • 2020 – A new sports betting bill proposed by Adam Koenig gains plenty of traction, but is dropped as the focus shifts towards the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • 2021 – New sports betting legislation is proposed, but is once again scuppered by the state’s interest in public health. Hopes are high that laws can be passed once the pandemic is dealt with.
  • 2022 – For the fourth year in a row, a sports betting bill is discussed, and this one finally wins a vote. HB 606 passess 58-30, but frustratingly, the Senate declines to vote on the matter.
  • 2023 – HB 106 is introduced but quickly fails. However, Michael Meredith gets HB 551 over the line on the final day of 2023’s legislative session. The bill wins 25-12 in the Senate, creating nine new sports betting licenses, one for each racetrack.

Will Sports Betting Be Successful in KY?

With a population of around 4.5 million, the Bluegrass State is the 26th most-populous in the country. Although it lacks the size of New York or Pennsylvania, there’s a lot of potential for the new Kentucky sports betting scene to succeed.

Take March Madness 2023, for instance. Legal sportsbooks in the neighboring states of Ohio and Indiana blocked almost 300,000 attempts to register from Kentucky, in just four days.

Louisiana, with a similar population size of around 4.6 million, reported a total handle of $193.5 million in June 2023. Their highest monthly figure to date was $209.6 million in April of the same year. There’s no reason to believe that Kentucky cannot replicate such numbers, given the comparative populations.

If legal sports betting does prove popular in the state, it will likely be due to the following factors:

  • Tax rates. Retail sportsbooks in KY will be taxed at just 9.75%, which is lower than many other US states. Online operators will pay a higher rate of 14.25%. However, this still compares well to Pennsylvania (36%) or Connecticut (18%) for example.
  • Few restrictions. Bettors in Kentucky will be free to wager on whatever they like. Betting on college sports, for instance, which is often banned in other US states, is provided for in the new laws.
  • Sports fans. Although there are no major franchises in the country’s most popular sports, Kentucky is known for its huge collegiate scene. Basketball and football are especially popular. The state is also home to extremely high-quality horse racing.

Governor Andy Beshear, who played a leading role in the passing of new sports betting laws, is bullish about the situation. He is on record stating that KY should make an initial $23 million from annual tax revenue, expecting future growth from there.

Betting on basketball is huge in Kentucky

Popular Kentucky Sports Betting Opportunities

Once the first legal mobile sportsbooks launch in Kentucky, we expect to see a wide variety of sports betting opportunities. We already know, for instance, that FanDuel has partnered with Churchill Downs to use their new sportsbook license. Similarly, Caesars has teamed up with Keeneland.

It seems fair to assume these major sports betting companies will deliver a similar mobile betting product to their other US operations. And if that’s the case, Kentuckians will be able to enjoy these popular bet types.

Moneyline

A bet on the moneyline requires you to determine who will win. For example, if the Kansas City Chiefs are playing the Detroit Lions, simply pick which team you think will come out on top. There’s no need to factor in handicap spreads, just bet on the winner.

Due to its simplicity, the moneyline is always one of the most popular bet types at online sportsbooks. So we would expect Kentucky sports betting sites to report similar statistics.

Moneyline betting

Spread

An even more popular way to bet on your favorite games, the spread uses a handicap system. Since some teams are often heavy favorites, there’s not always a lot of value in playing the moneyline. Instead, it makes for a more competitive wager by offering the underdog a points advantage, effectively giving them a head start.

Expect to see this particular line offered on every single game at legal Kentucky sports betting sites. It will feature prominently on the site due to its popularity.

Totals

Fans of sports betting in Kentucky will undoubtedly take an interest in totals betting. Here, instead of predicting the outcome of the game, we’re focusing on points scored. For instance, an NBA game might feature a line of 201.5, where the aim is to predict higher or lower.

A final score of 101 to 99 would combine for 200 points, meaning that “Under” bets win. Whereas a total of 202 or more would mean a payday for anyone betting the “Over”. Totals bets are sometimes dubbed “Over/Under” due to their nature.

In-Play

All of the best online bookmakers offer live betting. Expect every new site offering sports betting in Kentucky to provide this feature. The days where in-play markets were simply a “nice to have” option are long gone.

Since everyone now owns a smartphone, live betting is responsible for well over 60% of a mobile sportsbook’s turnover. It’s so easy nowadays to bet while watching the game in a bar, stadium or on your couch. This has led to the development of some unique and creative live sports betting markets.

Fanduel In-Play betting

Parlay

Casual bettors around the world love to place parlays. The idea is to combine multiple predictions into a single bet. This makes it much harder to win, as you’re now rooting for several teams or outcomes, instead of just one. But the potential rewards increase exponentially for each additional leg of your parlay.

There’s a 100% chance that all bookmakers offering sports betting in KY will accept parlays. Bettors love them for the opportunity to spin a few cents up into a massive win. While bookmakers enjoy the fact that such bets very rarely come in. It’s a win-win situation.

Teasers

Similar to parlays, teasers allow bettors to combine multiple selections into a single bet. However, they are much more flexible, as you can tinker with the variables in play. For example, you can move the handicap spread a few points in either direction.

Teasers are popular wagers across the United States as they give the bettor more control, while still potentially paying sizable amounts. So we can expect the best new sports betting sites in Kentucky to accept such wagers.

Futures

The newly passed Kentucky sports betting laws allow bookmakers to accept futures bets. Such wagers are not as popular as the likes of the moneyline, spreads and totals markets. But they do attract a certain type of bettor who revels in their expert knowledge of a particular sport.

The idea is to predict the winner of an event many weeks, or even months in advance. This could be the winner of next year’s Kentucky Derby, the NCAA basketball championship or even the Super Bowl MVP. These bets are hard to land, as anything could happen regarding injuries, form or other unexpected events. As such, the payouts tend to be bigger.

Sport in Kentucky

For the newly created sports betting industry in the Bluegrass State to be a success, it will depend heavily on local sports lovers. Although Kentucky is home to Churchill Downs, one of the most famous racetracks in the world, there are no major sports franchises.

Soccer is the only sport in the state to be represented professionally. Louisville City FC plays in the USL Championship, with Racing Louisville FC in the NWSL. That said, Kentuckians do still love their college and amateur sports and the state has a reputation for producing top athletes.

Football players DeVante Parker, Tim Couch and Jacob Tamme are just a few of the big names to emerge from KY colleges. But the likes of Brandon Webb, Austin Kearns and Jo Adell have also made it to the MLB.

Basketball is an especially big deal in this part of the USA. Few teams have won more NCAA championships than the University of Kentucky, but Western Kentucky University has enjoyed plenty of historical success too. In terms of college football, the Louisville Cardinals have also been outstanding recently.

We expect the most popular sports with bettors in Kentucky to be the following:

  • Basketball
  • Football
  • Baseball
  • Horse Racing
  • Soccer
  • Ice Hockey
  • Rugby
  • Motorsports

Kentucky Sports Betting Bonuses

Just like anywhere else in the USA, Kentucky sports betting sites will offer a selection of generous bonuses and promotions. After all, with so many great sportsbooks to choose from, brands have to work hard to both attract and retain new bettors.

Let’s take a look at what goodies we can expect from the Bluegrass State’s top online bookmakers.

Deposit Bonus

It’s rare to find an online sportsbook today which doesn’t offer a signup incentive. Although they can come in different shapes and sizes, a simple deposit match bonus is one of the most common.

Fund your account with real money for the first time and the bookie will add additional credits to your wallet. If it’s a 100% deposit offer, for example, a $50 deposit would net you a further $50 in bonuses.

BetMGM Sportsbook Kentucky - $1,000 Risk-Free Bet

Reload Bonus

The best bookies don’t just draw you in with a welcome offer and then abandon you. They understand how valuable their customers are and look after them. That’s why reload bonuses are common, giving bettors a “thank you” for their continuing loyalty. Expect Kentucky sports betting sites to follow suit.

The idea is just like a welcome deposit offer, only the percentages tend to be smaller. Deposit your cash and pick up bonus credits, usually in the region of 10% to 50%.

Free Bet

Instead of deposit match offers, some sports betting sites in the Bluegrass State will opt for free bets instead. Whether it’s a signup incentive or a reload bonus, free bet tokens are exactly what they sound like. Use them to place bets and if you win, you can keep the profits. If it loses, no big deal, since it didn’t cost you anything!

Be warned though – the stake will not be returned with a winning free bet. You’ll only keep the profits.

Second Chance Bet

These used to be known as risk-free bets, which was a somewhat misleading term. Gambling regulators across the country didn’t like this, requesting that operators use the name “second chance” bets instead. This will also apply to new Kentucky sportsbooks.

The idea is that your first real money bet will carry a kind of insurance. You’ll place the wager with real funds, so if it wins, the returns are yours to keep. But if the bet were to lose, you’d receive the stake back in the form of a free bet token. This gives you a second chance to bet and win.

Odds Boosts

This is a popular promotion at all US sportsbooks, so we expect it to feature prominently at KY sports betting sites. It’s executed in different ways by different brands, but the underlying idea is always the same. Some lines feature odds that have been artificially increased by the bookie, to the bettor’s benefit.

These odds boosts may be selected by the sportsbook and advertised as special markets. At some sites, bettors have a number of odds boost tokens, allowing them to choose their own selections to enhance. While other bookmakers prefer profit boosts instead. Here, the odds remain the same, but a percentage is added on top of your winnings.

Example of Fanduel NFL Odds Boost

Loyalty Program

Not all online betting sites offer VIP and loyalty programs. But the biggest sports betting brands in Kentucky are certainly expected to. For every real money bet placed, you’ll collect loyalty points. Depending on the rewards program in question, these can later be traded for gifts like clothing, tickets to games or even free bets.

What’s more, the points allow you to climb a ranking ladder. The higher you progress, the easier it becomes to earn points in future. You may even benefit from additional perks as you rise.

How to Register for Online Sports Betting in Kentucky

Ready to sign up for an account with a top Kentucky sports betting site? Worried about how to get started? Simply follow the steps below and you’ll soon be up and running.

  1. Choose a sportsbook from our list of secure bookmakers.
  2. Use our link to open the homepage, to ensure you end up at the real site. You don’t want to risk scammers acquiring your personal details.
  3. Open the registration form by clicking the button on the website’s homepage. It will likely say “Join Now”, “Register” or something similar.
  4. Read the terms and conditions of the betting site’s welcome bonus. Some promotions require you to add a promo code on the signup form.
  5. Fill out the form carefully. Your personal details are required purely for anti-fraud purposes. If the details don’t match your ID, future withdrawals could be delayed.
  6. It’s now time to fund your new account. Head to the cashier, pick a payment method and fill out the fields. Check to see if there’s a promo code required here too.
  7. Once the deposit is complete, you’re all set to begin your journey with a new Kentucky sports betting site. Good luck!

Payment Methods

In the last section, we mentioned depositing real money to your new account. But what banking methods will be available at sports betting sites in KY? Well, each brand is different, of course. But you can expect to see many of the below options, as these have proven extremely popular with bettors around the United States.

  • Bank Wire
  • Visa
  • Mastercard
  • Discover
  • American Express
  • PayPal
  • Cashier’s Check
  • Neteller
  • Skrill
  • Paysafecard
  • EcoPayz

Responsible Gambling

The vast majority of people enjoy betting on sports responsibly. It’s a bit of fun, a great way to enhance the excitement levels while watching games. Unfortunately though, a small minority of people struggle to remain in control.

However, the industry has come a long way in recent times to support such players. If you need assistance, please reach out to any of the following groups.

  • Kentucky Council on Problem Gambling. Free resource offering counseling and education about gambling addiction. Call 1-800-426-2537 free or visit www.kycpg.org for information.
  • National Problem Gambling Helpline. A similar service to the above, but on a nationwide scale. Dial 1-800-522-4700 at any time of day or head to www.ncpgambling.org for details.
  • Gamblers Anonymous. A not-for-profit organization set up to assist problem gamblers using the same methods as Alcoholics Anonymous. Find groups in Kentucky at www.gamblersanonymous.org or call 855-222-5542.

Useful Tools

In addition to these helpful resources, bookmakers now provide their own account management tools to assist you. All Kentucky sports betting brands must offer these responsible gambling controls as part of their licensing conditions.

Expect to see some, or all, of the following at the best bookmakers in KY:

  • Reality Check. A pop-up box will let you know how long you’ve been playing, as well as profit and loss statistics.
  • Time Out. Voluntarily take a short break from betting by locking yourself out of your account temporarily.
  • Deposit Limit. Set a cap on the amount you can add to your wallet in a period of time, to help reduce potential losses.
  • Self Exclusion. Completely block yourself from accessing sports betting sites in Kentucky. You will not be allowed to reopen your account and visiting a land-based sportsbook could result in criminal charges for trespassing.

FAQ

Is sports betting legal in the state of Kentucky?

Yes. HB 551 passed into law at the end of March 2023, making sports betting in Kentucky legal. However, the industry is yet to go live. The first retail sportsbooks are expected to open in early September 2023, with online betting to follow before September 28.

Can you bet on college sports in KY?

The new Kentucky sports betting legislation permits wagers on college sports. There are no restrictions whatsoever, allowing people within the boundaries of the Bluegrass State to bet on any collegiate teams.

Is sports betting taxed in Kentucky?

Yes. For players, any profits (winnings minus stake) are subject to the 6% state gambling tax, plus your usual federal income tax rate. Retail sports betting operators in Kentucky will pay 9.75% tax on their net revenues. Mobile sportsbooks will have to pay 14.25% on adjusted gross winnings.

Are offshore sportsbooks legal in KY?

Sports betting sites operating in Kentucky without one of the nine newly-issued licenses are technically illegal. However, the law focuses on the operator, not the player. Since offshore sites are not based in the United States, there’s nothing the authorities can do to stop them. Countless players around the country use offshore sites without issues

What are the best sports betting sites in Kentucky?

For a list of the best Kentucky sportsbooks, simply scroll to the top of this page! Our team of industry experts regularly reviews every online sports betting site, bringing you the safest bookmakers with the best odds and promotions.

Can you place horse racing bets online in Kentucky?

Yes, the law allows for sports betting sites in Kentucky to offer horse racing. Several of the brands recommended on this page also have racebooks with both international and US horse racing.

What is the legal age for sports betting in Kentucky?

Unlike much of the USA, you only need to be 18 years old in order to bet on sports in Kentucky.

No posts found

Sorry, but nothing matched your search criteria.