Online Sports Betting in Kentucky

Welcome to safe and legal sports betting in Kentucky!

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.” There’s an ongoing debate over what you call people from Kentucky – the three most popular options are Kentuckians, Kentuckers, and safe Kentuckeyites.

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.

Kentucky flag

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.

Kentucky Sports Betting Legalization Process

  • Legality: Sports betting is now legal in Kentucky. Gov. Andy Beshear signed the Kentucky sports betting bill on March 31, 2023.
  • Implementation Dates: The Kentucky sports betting law came into effect on June 28, 2023. Retail sportsbooks officially launched on Sept. 7, 2023, and online sports betting sites and apps launched on Sept. 28, 2023.
  • Online Sports Betting: Up to 30 online sportsbooks are permitted in the state. Kentucky’s horse racing tracks and the Kentucky Speedway can each host three online sports betting sites, making a potential total of 30 platforms. The state’s licensed online betting sites include well-known names like BetMGM, Caesars, DraftKings, FanDuel, and more.
  • Legal Gambling Age: The minimum age for gambling, including sports betting, in Kentucky is 18.
  • Location Restrictions: While one doesn’t need to be a resident, one must be located within Kentucky’s borders to place online bets. Geolocation tools ensure users are within state lines.
  • Betting Options: Bets can be placed on professional and college sports. However, online sportsbooks don’t cover horse racing, including the Kentucky Derby. Those wagers should be placed at specific online racebooks.
  • Historical Context: The path to legal sports betting in Kentucky has been long. Rep. Adam Koenig initially proposed a bill in 2019, but it took several years and multiple attempts for a bill to pass finally. The current bill, HB 551, was introduced by Rep. Michael Meredith in 2023 and gained enough support for approval.
  • Regulation: The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission oversees and regulates the sports betting industry in Kentucky.

Retail sportsbooks officially launched on Sept. 7, 2023, and online sports betting sites and apps launched on Sept. 28, 2023.

1 BetMGM logo
Bonus Free Betup to $1500
  • Trustworthy site
  • Mobile App
  • Fast withdrawals
  • 24/7 Customer Support
Visa payment Mastercard payment Paypal payment
2 draftkings logo
Get your bonus up to $1250
  • Trustworthy site
  • Welcoming Sign Up Bonus
  • Mobile App
  • Live Betting
Visa payment Mastercard payment Paypal payment

What pro teams do 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/team pairings:

  • 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)
  • Boxing USAWes 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)

Responsible Gambling in Kentucky

If you feel that gambling habits have gone out of your control, call the contact for the National Problem Gambling Helpline at 1-800-GAMBLER or chat:

It is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to offer support, resources, and referrals to anyone affected by problem gambling. Want to learn more about online casinos and sports gambling? Follow our Online Gamblers Academy and learn how to have fun responsibly!

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.

Catie Di Stefano has worked in the gambling industry since 2011 for major brands like Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Gaming Innovation Group and Betsson Group. She started in customer support at age 19 and has since worked her way through VIP, CRM and Marketing. Today, Catie is passionate about educating players on consumer rights and the best approaches for legal play in the United States as the Director of Community Marketing at Catie was born in Indonesia but grew up in Sweden. Currently, she resides in Spain with her two daughters.