Online Sports Betting in Kentucky

While legal sports betting in Kentucky is not currently available, it should be soon. The state governor signed sports betting bill HB 551 into law on March 31st. Kentucky markets should be live and ready to go no later than December 28th of, 2023. Excitingly, Kentucky intends to offer both professional and collegiate sports leagues right off the bat. The “Bluegrass State” has rabid fanbases at both the professional and collegiate sports levels, so this is an exciting year.

There’s an ongoing debate over what you call people from Kentucky – the three most popular options are Kentuckians, Kentuckers, and Kentuckeyites. Home to a bustling tourism industry, the official slogan for tourism in KY is “Unbridled Spirit.” There has been an effort in recent years to replace that slogan with a simpler, more crass “Kentucky Kicks Ass.”Kentucky flag

Kentucky is usually associated with bourbon, and there are actually more than two barrels of bourbon per person in the state. First distilled in KY in the late 1700s, over 90% of the United States bourbon is produced in the state.

Some of the most famous celebrities you’d find in the country were born in Kentucky. Actor Johnny Depp, boxer Muhammad Ali, iconic president Abe Lincoln, and singer/songwriter Tinashe are all from KY.

What’s Happening in Kentucky Sports Betting now?

For those living under a rock, Kentucky is home to one of the most historic sports events in the United States – the Kentucky Derby. The 2023 edition just concluded with Mage winning at 15-1 odds, the eighth most popular horse in a field of 18. This particular iteration of the Derby was overshadowed, in part, because of several notable scratches and horse deaths over the course of the week.

Under the bill HB 551, legislators gave Kentucky’s nine horse racing tacks sports betting licenses. Each license comes with up to three online skins per track. That means you might see 27 online books in the state.

What Sportsbooks Might we see in the State?

At the moment, only Churchill Downs owns a location within the state. But CD recently announced that they would be withdrawing from the online sports betting business. That renders the most prepared candidate to offer sports betting a non-option.

What pro teams does Kentuckers root for?

With no professional teams in any of the four major American sports, fandom for teams is divided.

You are likely to find fans of the following city/teams pairings:Boxing USA

  • Indiana/Indianapolis: Pacers (NBA); Colts (NFL)
  • Cincinnati: Bengals (NFL); Reds (MLB)
  • Tennessee/Memphis: Titans (NFL); Predators (NHL); Grizzlies (NBA)

At the collegiate level, you’ll most likely find fandom split between the University of Kentucky (Wildcats) and the University of Louisville (Cardinals). Both are traditional powerhouses in NCAA basketball, though you’ll also find them having success in other Division 1 sports like tennis, baseball, and football. The Wildcats actually advanced to an NCAA team final in tennis in 2022, losing 4-0 to the University of Virginia.

Who are some of the most famous athletes from Kentucky?

  • Muhammad Ali (widely regarded as the greatest boxer of all time, with a career record of 56-5, named sports personality of the century by BBC)
  • Mary Meagher (Madam Butterfly was an Olympic champion swimmer and world record holder in the 100-meter butterfly and 200-meter butterfly)
  • Wes Unseld (#2 overall draft pick, NBA Champion, NBA Finals MVP, NBA MVP, 5x All-Star, Basketball Hall of Famer)
  • Pee Wee Reese (10x All-Star, 2x World Series champion, MLB Hall of Famer)
  • Paul Hornung (Football Hall of Famer, Super Bowl champion, 4x NFL champion, MVP, 2x Pro Bowler)
  • Phil Simms (2x Super Bowl champion, Super Bowl MVP, 2x Pro Bowler, record for highest comp. % in a Super Bowl)
  • Matt Winn (President of Churchill Downs, horse racing executive who helped make the Kentucky Derby the most iconic horse race)
  • Darrell Griffith (Dr. Dunkenstein, NBA Rookie of the Year, NCAA Champion, NCAA Most Outstanding Player)

Sports betting in Kentucky refers to the act of placing wagers on the outcome of sports events, usually with the aim of making a profit.

Yes, sports betting is legal in Kentucky as of 2021. The state legalized sports betting through House Bill 137, which was signed into law by Governor Andy Beshear on April 22, 2021.

Kentucky is known for its passionate sports fans, and popular sports for betting in the state include basketball, football, horse racing, and baseball.

Some of the top sports betting sites in Kentucky include DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM, and PointsBet.

There are various types of bets you can place on sports in Kentucky, including point spread bets, moneyline bets, over/under bets, and prop bets.

To deposit money on a sports betting site in Kentucky, you can use various methods such as credit/debit cards, e-wallets, prepaid cards, or bank transfers.

The risks associated with sports betting in Kentucky include losing money, developing a gambling addiction, and risking your personal information and data.

While it is possible to make a living from sports betting in Kentucky, it is challenging and requires a lot of skill, knowledge, and experience.

Responsible sports betting is when you gamble in a way that is safe, legal, and ethical. This involves setting a budget, managing your bankroll, and avoiding chasing losses.

If you or someone you know has a gambling problem in Kentucky, you can seek help from organizations such as the Kentucky Council on Problem Gambling, the National Council on Problem Gambling, or the Kentucky Department for Behavioral Health.

Jake Moszkowski is the Senior Sportswriter for, covering the American sports and betting industry. He joined us after a four-year stint in marketing and business development for Simplebet, the sports-betting technology company. Prior to Simplebet and OnlineGamblers, Jake worked in the communications team at sports & talent agency, Octagon. He has extensive experience researching and writing about the four major American sports(NFL, NBA, MLB, & NHL), as well as college sports (CFB, NCAAB, College Tennis) and international sports (ATP, WTA).