Is Sports Betting Legal in Kentucky?
Kentucky finally legalized sports betting in March 2023 after several previous efforts to pass bills that would regulate the betting industry in the state. Governor Andy Beshear, who had long supported legalized sports betting, signed House Bill 551 into law. This bill means the state now has the power to approve betting licenses through the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission.
The new law for Kentucky makes the Bluegrass State the 38th state in the country to legalize sports betting after the Supreme Court overturned PASPA. While this means legal betting is on the way, sports fans in Kentucky will still have to wait a few months for the first sportsbooks to go live. Retail sportsbooks are expected to start taking bets from September 7, one day before the NFL season starts. Online and mobile betting will launch three weeks later.
Timeline of Kentucky Sports Betting
- March 14, 2018 – The Supreme Court rules that the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) is unconstitutional. This means states now have the freedom to pass their own laws governing sports betting.
- January 7, 2020 – The first attempt by Kentucky lawmakers to approve a sports betting bill fails as HB 137 fails to pass the House.
- March 18, 2022 – After several other unsuccessful attempts, the Kentucky House passed HB 606, which was introduced by Rep. Adam Koenig.
- April 14, 2022 – HB 606 fails to pass the Kentucky Senate, meaning sports fans have to wait longer for betting legislation.
- February 22, 2023 – HB 551 is introduced to the House, proposing rules for sports betting and placing the Kentucky Racing Commission in charge of licensing.
- March 13, 2023 – The House of Representatives approves HB 551, leaving the matter in the hands of the Senate.
- March 30, 2023 – The Senate approves HB 551, with a vote of 25 for and 12 against.
- March 31, 2023 – Governor Andy Beshear signs HB 551 into law, promising that the first sportsbooks would begin taking bets from September 2023.
Kentucky Sports Betting at a Glance
|Kentucky retail sports betting legal status||Launching September 7, 2023|
|Kentucky online sports betting legal status||Launching September 28, 2023|
|Kentucky online sports betting launch date||September 28, 2023|
|Kentucky sports betting regulator||Kentucky Horse Racing Commission|
|Number of sportsbook licenses available||30|
|Total bets placed in first month||N/A|
|Sportsbook tax rate||9.75% for retail and 14.25% for online|
Top KY Sportsbooks
Sports betting hasn’t gone live in Kentucky yet. However, we already know of some sites that have already submitted applications for licenses in the state. There are up to 30 licenses available to be claimed, and Kentucky horse racing tracks will also be able to offer real money sports betting. From what we’ve seen, there will be a lot of variety to choose from, but these are some of the most anticipated options:
Choosing a Sportsbook in Kentucky
Before you can start betting on your favorite sports, you’ll need to choose which sportsbook you want to bet at. There are up to thirty different options available, and knowing which one to choose isn’t always easy. If you want to make sure you sign up to the best site and have the most enjoyable experience betting, we recommend looking at these factors:
If you want to get a look at what a sportsbook offers without signing up yourself, reviews are definitely the way to go. We review all KY betting sites and apps to save you the trouble of testing them out. By using our research, data, and experience, you can instantly find the best sportsbooks to join.
Our review team are all experienced bettors and know just what to look for. They sign up, deposit, and use each site to get an idea of what’s available and which sportsbooks are best. Then you can read all the information in our reviews, which are updated regularly with the newest features and promos.
One of the main differences between betting online and in person is that at online sportsbooks, you can claim betting promos and bonuses. These are special offers that are available to help make your betting experience even more enjoyable. When you’re choosing a site, it’s worth looking at what kind of bonuses you can claim and which ones are best.
There are loads of different kinds of betting bonuses out there, and they work in different ways. However, they’re normally all fun to use and provide a great way to boost your bankroll when you first join. Make sure you check the terms and conditions, though, as this will allow you to compare different offers. Common bonuses at KY sportsbooks include:
- Risk-free bets
- Matched deposit bonuses
- Bet credits
- Loyalty rewards
- No deposit bonuses
Odds and Lines
While bonuses are fun, the odds and lines that the sportsbook offers probably have the biggest impact on your overall betting experience and the profits that you can make. Better odds will mean you can make bigger profits long term, and these can vary quite a lot between sportsbooks. Likewise, better lines will give you greater chances of your bet winning.
Based on our research, odds for major events tend to be fairly similar, but you can find a lot of value if you look closely. Some events and markets have more variation in the odds than others, so be sure to compare the odds before you sign up and start betting.
Sports and Markets
The best thing about online sportsbooks is that you can bet on just about any sport or event. More options give you greater chances of finding value. It also means you’ll still be able to bet even when your favorite sport is in the offseason. All major US sports are covered, and you can also usually bet on all the biggest and best sporting events around the world. Popular sports covered at KY sportsbooks include:
- College Sports
- Premier League Soccer
- Champions League Soccer
Tas well as featuring a wide range of sports and events, top-rated betting sites ensure you have loads of markets to choose from, including live betting markets. Markets are the options you can bet on, including the outcome of the game and the actions of certain players. More markets mean more variety and more chances to find value. Some of the markets you can bet on at KY sportsbooks include:
- Point spread
- Point total
- Player props
- Game props
- Same game parlays
The features of a betting site are important, but so is its usability. You want to make sure you join a site that is simple to sign up to and easy to use. When we review Kentucky online sportsbooks, we always sign up and test them out to see what the betting process is like. It shouldn’t take more than a few minutes to create your account.
Placing bets at good sportsbooks should also be a simple process, with clear menus and categories to help you find the events you want to bet on. The betslip should be clearly displayed to help you find it easily and view any open or settled bets anytime you want. Extra features such as live streams and cashout also help to improve the usability of the site.
You can’t place any bets if you don’t have enough funds in your account. Once you’ve signed up, you’ll have to make a deposit before you can start betting. Of course, good sportsbooks will make it as easy as possible for you to add funds, offering a wide range of popular payment methods and ensuring your deposits are instant and free.
When it comes to cashing out your winnings, you shouldn’t have any issues either. The best sportsbooks make it straightforward to withdraw money, allowing you to get your hands on your winnings quickly. Of course, you may need to wait a bit longer than with deposits, but the best sites ensure you won’t be waiting around for days before you can spend your money.
Customer support is an incredibly important factor that some bettors overlook. While it may be rare for things to go wrong, it’s very useful to have a helpful customer support team available if they do. When you’re choosing a sportsbook to join, you should always look at the customer support options they have available.
Getting an answer to a query shouldn’t take days, and if you have a problem, it should always be dealt with quickly and effectively. Poor customer service can easily make your betting experience more difficult and less enjoyable, so make sure any sportsbook you use has a good track record. Commonly used support options include:
- FAQ pages
- Live chat
- Email support
- Phone support
- Social media pages
How to Join a KY Sportsbook
Now you’ve got a better idea of how to choose a sportsbook, you’re ready to join one of the licensed and legal betting sites available in Kentucky. Thankfully, it’s much simpler than you might think, just follow these steps to create your account:
- Choose one of the top-rated KY sportsbooks and visit the site or download the app
- Select the Join Now or Sign Up option to start the sign up process
- Enter your full details, including name, address and contact info
- Agree to the site’s terms and conditions and set up your username and password if required
- Verify your ID and location, then make your first deposit to start betting!
Deposits at Kentucky Betting Sites Explained
After your account is set up, you can head over to the cashier section to add funds to your account. Unless the sportsbook has a no deposit offer, you’re going to need to make a deposit before you can place any bets.
Most sites accept a range of payment methods, and you can choose the one you prefer to instantly fund your account. Bear in mind that there’s usually a minimum deposit, and some sportsbooks also have a maximum deposit amount too.
Popular payment methods used at licensed sportsbooks include:
- Online banking
- Debit/credit cards
- Wire transfer
Your Guide to Kentucky Sportsbook Promos
When you’re making your deposit, make sure you don’t forget to claim your sportsbook promo. All of the KY sportsbooks we’ve reviewed feature bonuses for new customers, which let you boost your bankroll when you create your account and deposit funds.
Before you claim your offer, always read through all of the terms and conditions. Doing so will help you understand what the bonus gives you, how to claim it, and how to make the most out of it. Here are some common promo terms and conditions with an explanation of what they each mean:
|Terms and Conditions||Example||Explanation|
|Wagering requirement/rollover||25x||Complete the wagering to withdraw your bonus|
|Promo code||BONUS10||Enter the promo code when making a deposit to claim your bonus|
|Minimum deposit||$20||Deposit at least this amount to claim the bonus|
|Minimum bet||$10||Make a bet of at least this amount to claim the bonus|
|Minimum odds||-200||Make a bet at these odds or greater to claim the bonus|
How to Claim Your Payout at Kentucky Sportsbooks
You can withdraw your money from your sportsbook account at any time. As long as you have at least the minimum withdrawal amount, you can request a payout and get your money sent to your preferred payment option. All you need to do to initiate a withdrawal is follow these steps:
- Log into your account and head to the cashier section
- Choose the withdrawal option and the payment method you want to use
- Enter the amount you’d like to withdraw and confirm
The sportsbook will need to process your request, and once that’s complete, it gets sent to the payment service. From there, you’ll need to wait for the payment to be processed, and the time this takes to complete varies. Here are some common payout times for popular payment methods:
|Payment Method||Withdrawal Time|
|Debit card||1-5 days|
|PayPal||30 minutes to 1 day|
|Bank transfer||1-7 days|
Mobile Betting in KY
Online betting in Kentucky is available on desktop computers, tablets, and smartphones, giving you the freedom to sign up and bet wherever you like. As long as you’re within the state borders and have a stable internet connection, you can log in, check the status of your bets, make payments, and place new wagers while on the go.
Betting from your mobile is incredibly easy, and you can choose to access your preferred sportsbook through your mobile browser or download the app. All of the best KY sportsbooks have their own app, which can be downloaded and installed onto your device for faster betting and more convenience.
Most Popular Kentucky Sports to Bet On
Kentucky has a massive sports fan culture, despite not having a professional team in any of the top four leagues. Despite this, high school and college sports are huge, especially when it comes to football and basketball. College and professional sports are all available to bet on in KY, including the following:
Football is the country’s favorite sport by some margin, with research suggesting that 50% of the nation follows the NFL. The fact that Kentucky lawmakers have expedited the regulatory process to ensure betting is available at the start of the season shows just how important it is. You can bet on all NFL games in Kentucky from September 2023.
According to data, basketball is the most played sport in the state, although it doesn’t have its own NBA team. Instead, basketball fans in Kentucky follow their local college teams or NBA teams from close by states like the New Orleans Pelicans. The NBA is a popular sport to bet on, thanks to the sheer number of props available on most games.
The MLB may no longer be the most popular sport in the US, but that doesn’t mean it’s faded into obscurity. People in KY still love baseball, and it’s ideal for sports betting, thanks to the high volume of games and stats available. Again, there’s no local MLB team to follow, but baseball fans across the state often cheer for the Cincinnati Reds.
Hockey is big in Kentucky too, and it’s growing in popularity thanks to the expansion of the league. It’s a great option for bettors, although the lower-scoring games can sometimes make things less predictable. In Kentucky, a lot of hockey fans follow the Nashville Predators, who aren’t too far away.
Few sports leagues have grown as rapidly as the MLS in recent years, and while soccer may have some catching up to do on other sports in the US, it’s huge in other parts of the world. It’s easy to see why because games can be very unpredictable. There’s no MLS franchise in Kentucky yet, but soccer fans can watch Louisville City FC in the USL.
Thanks to their lack of franchises in the major leagues, a lot of Kentucky sports fans are extremely passionate about college sports. There’s a huge rivalry between the Louisville Cardinals and the Kentucky Wildcats. All college sports will be available to bet on in KY, although player props won’t be offered.
Why Join Multiple KY Sportsbooks
While most people sign up to one sportsbook and stick to it, there’s really nothing stopping you from joining as many as you like. Provided you only choose sites that are licensed by the Kentucky Racing Commission, you’ll be perfectly safe. There are lots of advantages to signing up to multiple KY sportsbooks, and it can be well worth your time. Here are some of them:
All Kentucky sportsbooks feature bonuses and promos for you to claim. In most cases, these offers can only be claimed once when you first join, and there’s only one available per site. While most sportsbooks do have regular promos too, the welcome bonuses are the best. By joining more sportsbooks, you’ll also get to claim more welcome promos.
Getting the best odds on your bets can be difficult, as odds can vary a lot and often change quickly. If you truly want to make sure you’re consistently getting the best odds, you should have accounts at multiple sportsbooks. That way, you can quickly check the difference and place your bet at the site that’s offering the best odds at that moment.
Sportsbooks are always trying to attract new customers by offering new features that make betting more enjoyable. However, all sites are different, and some features might not be available to use in every sportsbook you try. It makes sense then to sign up to all the KY sportsbooks so you can experience the new features for yourself and find out which ones you like best.
Kentucky Sports Betting FAQ
Is it legal to bet on sports in Kentucky?
Betting on sports is now legal in Kentucky. Governor Andy Beshear approved new sports betting regulations on March 31, 2023. However, the first legal bets won’t be placed until September, as the license approval process is still ongoing.
How do I sign up to an online KY sportsbook?
To sign up to a KY sportsbook and start betting, you simply need to download the app or visit the site and then choose the Join Now option. Fill in your details, agree to the site’s terms, and then verify your ID to finish the process.
Do Kentucky sportsbooks offer betting promos?
Yes, all of the upcoming KY sportsbooks will be offering betting promos to new customers, letting you make the most of your betting experience with bet credits, risk-free bets, and more. Regular offers like odds boosts are also expected.
Can I bet from my mobile at Kentucky betting sites?
Yes, Kentucky sportsbooks fully accept mobile users, with both mobile apps and mobile-compatible websites available. Betting from your smartphone or tablet is incredibly simple, as most sites have a download available for iOS and Android devices.