Best Kentucky Sportsbooks – Guide to Kentucky Betting Sites October 2023

Kentucky sportsbooks will be open soon, with a September 28, 2023, launch date for online betting. With Kentucky betting apps becoming a reality and online and retail sportsbooks in the state legalized, you’ll want a Kentucky sports betting guide. We’ll review the best sportsbooks and provide the inside scoop on sports betting in Kentucky – we’ve also covered the offshore sportsbooks you can bet at.

🔔 Legal Kentucky Sports Betting Status: Retail and online legal sports betting approved

🚀 Kentucky Sports Betting Launch: September 2023

🔞 Legal Sports Betting Age: 18 and over

🏟️ Retail Sportsbook Locations: Churchill Downs (all four tracks and satellite facilities)

💻 Remote Registration: Yes

🚫 Betting Limitations: Political betting prohibited, college sports and Esports betting allowed

⚖️ State Betting Regulator: Kentucky Horse Racing Commission

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Top Sports Betting Sites in Kentucky October 2023

  1. BetOnline
  2. Bovada
  3. BetNow
  4. MyBookie
  5. BetUS
  7. Jazz Sports
  8. Lucky Block
  9. XBet
  10. BUSR Sports

Is Sports Betting Legal in Kentucky?

Sports betting is legal in Kentucky, both retail and online. KY Governor Andy Beshear signed legislation to legalize Kentucky sports betting on March 31, 2023, via House Bill 551. While the passing of this bill made betting legal in Kentucky, sportsbooks will not launch until September 7, 2023 (retail sports betting) and September 28, 2023 (online sports betting), just in time for the NFL season. The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission will regulate legal sports betting, fitting for a state famous for the Kentucky Derby.

Kentucky Sports Betting Laws

The Kentucky sports betting bill differs from most states as the minimum betting age in Kentucky is 18 rather than 21 (although some online sportsbooks will require bettors to be 21 and up). Still, under Kentucky betting law, the minimum betting age in Kentucky is 18 or older, and you must be within the state to sign up for Kentucky sportsbooks. Both retail sportsbook operations (mostly at horse racing tracks) and online sportsbooks are legal, and Kentucky sports betting is regulated by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission. You can also bet at offshore sportsbooks.

Retail Sportsbooks

Retail sportsbooks are authorized to operate from all nine horse racing tracks in the state and their satellite facilities for off-track betting in Kentucky, and each horse racing operator can have up to three online sportsbook partners. In addition, the Kentucky Speedway will be allowed to offer retail sports betting in Kentucky and given an allotment for three online skins. This means a total of 30 possible online sports betting licenses, most in affiliation with horse racing tracks.

Political Betting

Political betting is prohibited under the KY sports betting bill, as is the standard for sports betting bills throughout the US. There are no college sports or Esports betting restrictions for Kentucky sports bettors. Betting on entertainment events like the Oscars may be legal in Kentucky as there are no stated restrictions in KY sports betting regulations for these betting markets.

Kentucky Sports Betting Legislation Timeline

The US Supreme Court overturned a federal ban on online sports betting in 2018, allowing states to approve legal sportsbooks. Rep. Adam Koenig introduced a Kentucky sports betting bill in 2020 but failed to gain sufficient support in the Bluegrass State. Still, that would not be the last of the Kentucky sports betting bills.

Then, Rep. Michael Meredith introduced HB 551 in 2023, which passed with a 25-12 vote, allowing online sports betting in Kentucky to begin in September 2023. Let’s take a look at a recent timeline of key events in Kentucky sports betting legislation.

  • Aug 4, 2023: DraftKings officially announced that it will open its online sportsbook in Kentucky on September 28, 2023.
  • Aug 1, 2023: Despite Kentucky choosing an 18+ sports betting age, FanDuel followed Caesars by setting a minimum age of 21 to utilize its services.
  • July 27, 2023 According to Churchill Downs, retail sportsbooks will open at its venues on September 7, 2023, the day of the retail launch in KY.
  • July 24, 2023 – The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) started hiring for 14 positions to assist with the state’s introduction of sports betting.
  • July 21, 2023 – The KHRC listed five sportsbooks that have spoken with the state: BetMGM, Circa Sports, WynnBET, DraftKings, and FanDuel.
  • July 17, 2023 – Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear issued an executive order to establish a Sports Wagering Advisory Committee.
  • July 10, 2023 – The KHRC stated that retail betting will begin on September 7, 2023, and online betting will debut on September 28, 2023.
  • July 6, 2023 – The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission declared a special meeting on July 10 to discuss sports betting rules.
  • June 21, 2023 – The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission announced its plans for a meeting to evaluate and approve sports betting legislation.

Latest Kentucky Sports Betting News

The most recent development on the KY sports betting landscape is the announcement that Churchill Downs (home of the Kentucky Derby) racing facilities will launch retail sportsbooks on September 7, 2023. This is the first possible day for legal retail sports betting in Kentucky, and not by coincidence, the first day of the 2023 NFL season.

Other top online sportsbooks are anticipated to enter the KY online sports betting arena shortly thereafter, making this an exciting time for betting in the Bluegrass State. Safe Kentucky sportsbook options are on the way for entirely legal and regulated opportunities to bet on sports in Kentucky.

Kentucky Retail Sports Betting Locations

It has been announced that all Churchill Downs properties will feature sportsbooks, including its namesake venue, home of the Kentucky Derby. We expect more retail locations in the near future to make it more convenient for Kentucky residents to place bets in person, and we will provide Kentucky sports betting updates. Please see below for Churchill Downs locations that have officially been announced to house legalized sports betting operations in Kentucky as soon as week one of the 2023 NFL season.

Venue Address
Churchill Downs 700 Central Avenue

Louisville, Kentucky 40208

Derby City Gaming 4520 Poplar Level Road

Louisville, Kentucky 40213

Ellis Park Racing and Gaming 3300 US Highway 41 North

Henderson, Kentucky 42420

Newport Racing and Gaming 1723 Monmouth Street

Newport, Kentucky 41071

Oak Grove Racing, Gaming, and Hotel 777 Winners Way

Oak Grove, Kentucky 42262

Turfway Park Racing and Gaming 7500 Turfway Road

Florence, Kentucky 41042

How We Choose the Best KY Betting Sites

We use a wide range of essential criteria to consider the best Kentucky online betting sites, such as:

  • Bonuses, promotions, and rewards
  • Sports and bet types available
  • Sports betting odds
  • Mobile app and desktop functionality
  • Customer service and banking
  • Special and unique features

For more information on our process of vetting the top options for legal sports betting in Kentucky and throughout the United States, please check out a full analysis of how we rate the top US sportsbooks.

How to Start Online Betting in Kentucky

Here we will break down how you will be able to sign up for the best Kentucky sports betting sites.

  1. Click on any link we have provided here to the best Kentucky online sportsbooks.
  2. Click on the option to sign up for one of the sportsbooks.
  3. Enter personal details such as your email address, name, date of birth, and phone number.
  4. If prompted, be sure to enter any applicable promo code we have provided.
  5. Locate a sport and game you would like to place a wager on.
  6. Select a betting choice and add it to the bet slip of the sportsbook.
  7. Upon settling your bet, you will see any winnings in your account balance.
  8. After full account verification, withdraw any cash winnings using the banking section of the sportsbook.

Kentucky Sportsbook Promotions

Though no legal Kentucky online sportsbook is yet active unless you’re playing at an offshore sportsbook, here we will discuss the promotions we anticipate once you sign up.

  • Sign-Up Bonus Offers: Welcome bonuses will be given to new sign-ups when registering for KY sportsbooks.
  • Match Deposit Bonus Offers: You will often receive a deposit match bonus based on your first deposit at a Kentucky legal sports betting site.
  • Bonus Bets: Bonus bets are often issued for new and existing bettors at a mobile sportsbook in Kentucky.
  • Reload Bonuses:  A reload bonus is essentially the same as a deposit bonus but is a way for regulated sportsbooks to reward ongoing customers.
  • Odds Boosts: Kentucky bettors will be rewarded with periodic opportunities to bet with more advantageous than standard odds.
  • Parlay Insurance: Another common ongoing promotion among sportsbook apps is to provide money back on select parlays that lose by one leg.
  • Loyalty Bonuses: When choosing the best Kentucky betting site, you’ll want to consider the loyalty rewards based on ongoing sportsbook activity.

Kentucky Mobile Sports Betting vs Desktop

Some of the best reasons to bet via mobile sportsbook apps compared to desktop sports betting sites include convenience and the ability to bet on the go. Yet, some might prefer the desktop experience at sportsbooks in Kentucky due to more screen real estate to work with.

Both options are entirely viable, and all of the top options for legal sports betting in KY we have recommended have excellent apps and desktop platforms. Let’s take a look at how to download a Kentucky sports betting application.

  1. Visit the App Store (iOS), the Google Play Store (Android), or the sportsbook’s website.
  2. Locate the app and select the option to download it.
  3. Find the icon for the app on your mobile device.
  4. Create your account if you have not; the app will prompt you to do this.
  5. You can now place bets and access other sportsbook functions on the app.

Pros & Cons of Sports Betting Apps for Kentucky

Let’s take a look at some of the pluses and minuses of betting on a sports betting app in Kentucky.

Pros & Cons: 

Pros: pros

  • Can bet on the go
  • Easy to access shifting odds
  • No need to visit a betting window
  • More convenient to odds shop

Cons: cons

  • Lack of retail sportsbook ambiance
  • Potential geolocation issues

Kentucky Online Sports Betting Payment Methods

A sportsbook is only as good as its banking options. Here we will analyze the withdrawal and deposit methods you will commonly find at mobile sportsbook apps such as the Kentucky betting sites we’ve recommended.

  • Credit and Debit Cards: You can use a debit or credit card at most online sportsbook operators to fund your account.
  • Online Bank Transfer: A bank transfer is another common way to transfer money in and out of regulated sportsbooks.
  • E-Wallets: You may want to enjoy the convenience of E-Wallets like PayPal when banking with KY online sportsbooks.
  • Prepaid Cards: Another convenient option is to use prepaid cards for deposits and withdrawals at online sports betting sites.
  • Casino Cage Cashier: Some online sportsbooks with retail sportsbook partners will enable you to bank in cash via a casino cage.

Teams to Bet on at Kentucky Online Sportsbooks

There are no major professional sports teams in Kentucky in terms of the most popular US leagues like the NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL. You will, however, find some professional soccer teams in Kentucky, albeit not at the MLS level.

Of course, there will be favorite nearby regional professional teams depending on your exact location in Kentucky and your allegiances. These include teams like the Nashville Predators and St. Louis Blues (NHL), Indiana Pacers and Cleveland Cavaliers (NBA), Cincinnati Bengals and Indianapolis Colts (NFL), and the Cincinnati Reds (MLB).

College Sports

College sports are, however, prevalent in Kentucky, and college sports wagering is entirely legal under Kentucky betting rules. Two teams are particularly known for their NCAA Division I men’s basketball squads:

  • Kentucky Wildcats – The University of Kentucky Wildcats are famous for having a consistently competitive NCAA men’s basketball team.
  • Louisville Cardinals – Also known for its men’s basketball team, the Louisville Cardinals have a fierce rivalry with the Kentucky Wildcats.

Kentucky Online Betting Options We Expect To See in 2023

Let’s take a look at the types of bets you will be able to place at online sportsbooks in KY.

  • Moneyline: Here, you wager on a sporting event’s outright winner, with odds determining your payout.
  • Point Spread: With spread betting, a handicap is introduced to even the playing field in uneven matchups.
  • Totals: This type of betting involves wagering on the total number of points (over/under) that will score in a sporting event.
  • Player Props: Instead of betting on the winner or total, you bet on individual statistical situations within games involving individual players.
  • Team Props: Like player props, you are betting on micro-statistical outcomes, albeit for whole teams instead of players.
  • Same Game Parlays: Parlays involve pairing multiple selections for higher potential winnings, and with same-game parlays, from one event.
  • Live Betting: With live betting, you can bet on games that are already underway using ever-shifting real-time odds.

Kentucky Horse Betting

The state of Kentucky is nearly synonymous with horse betting, hence it being the home of the Kentucky Derby and legal sports betting being regulated by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission rather than perhaps the Kentucky Lottery Commission, as you might see in another state.

How to Bet on Sports in Kentucky Once Live

Let’s take a quick look at how to bet on sports in KY once legal sports betting is live.

  1. Sign up for a top legal sportsbook using the links in this guide.
  2. Login to your account with the sportsbook and find a sport you are interested in.
  3. Locate a game/match you would like to place a wager on.
  4. Make a betting selection and add it to your bet slip.
  5. Enter a dollar amount you want to wager, and submit your bet.

How Will Online Sportsbooks in Kentucky Compare to Other States?

Sports Betting Market Coverage

In the case of the sports betting operators we expect to become active in Kentucky, they are all national, some even international. We are unaware of any local online sports betting operators planning to operate in the state, although this could change.

Retail sportsbooks in the state will be housed, for the most part, in local horse racing establishments. With 30 possible sports betting licenses for online operators, Kentucky has the potential to offer more online sportsbooks than almost any other state.

Kentucky Betting Odds and Betting Markets

All of the top online sportsbooks we recommend offer competitive odds that align with market leaders in odds generation. You can expect to receive fair odds at these sportsbooks, and you can bet on a wide range of betting markets that are legally available in the United States.

The offerings that you will find at these top nationally operating sportsbooks will be the same in Kentucky as in other states, whether you are discussing odds or sports/bet types. Plus, you can odds shop at multiple sportsbooks to find the best possible lines for the wagers you are looking to place.

KY College Sports Betting

Fortunately for those Kentucky Wildcats and Louisville Cardinals fans, wagering on college sports is subject to no restrictions in Kentucky. You can place wagers on college sports, including in-state games and teams, at retail sportsbooks and online betting operators in KY. This is in contrast to some states where college sports betting is banned altogether or restrictions are in place for in-state events/teams.

Sports Betting Taxes and Revenue

Kentucky bettors will be subject to taxes on sports betting at the state and federal levels. Net betting winnings are treated just like any other gambling winnings or business profit and must be reported to the IRS and state.

In fact, the betting operator will generally withhold winnings over a particular threshold to cover state taxes and report these net yearly winnings to the IRS. It is good practice to keep track of your yearly winnings so you are aware of what you owe.

The rules for taxes on betting will be no different in Kentucky than they are in other states, albeit the state tax rate varies depending on your state of residence. As for the operators, Kentucky’s retail sports betting establishments will be subject to a 9.25% sales tax, while online sportsbooks will be subject to a 14.25% gross revenue tax.

Daily Fantasy Sports

Fantasy sports sites are legal in Kentucky, just as they are in most US states, and will continue to be after betting is launched. Both daily fantasy and betting can be fun ways to enjoy gambling on sports, and Kentucky sports fans can enjoy both in the Bluegrass State.

Responsible Gambling in Kentucky

We highly recommend that you only gamble responsibly and take measures to ensure your gambling is healthy and controlled. All of the top Kentucky sportsbooks we promote offer excellent responsible gambling resources. These include external help channels like support phone numbers and ways to benefit yourself, such as betting limits and self-exclusion.

What is the Best Sportsbook in Kentucky?

With an excellent sign-up process and ongoing bonus opportunities, we think you’ll love placing bets at BetOnline.

Sports Betting Kentucky FAQs

When will sports betting be legal in Kentucky?

Can you sports bet in Kentucky?

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Which is the most trusted Kentucky sports betting app?

Jack Garry

Jack Garry is a successful daily fantasy sports (DFS) player and writer, providing content on DFS, sports betting, and legal online gambling. He has written for sites like,, and This has included articles on DFS and betting strategy, regional online gambling news and information, and more.