Kentucky Sportsbooks + Sports Betting Sites

Betting on sports events with any live bookie or online sportsbooks based in Kentucky is against the state’s laws. This is because the state of Kentucky has not legalized any form of sports betting. However, this does not stop offshore online bookies from accepting Kentucky residents, and the state has no online sports betting laws to prevent its residents from signing up at offshore online bookies.

This page attempts to clarify online sports betting legality issues. We have not only tried to provide an understanding of Kentucky’s sports betting laws, but have also shared expert opinions regarding the legality of betting at offshore online bookies. We have also presented a list of legal online sports betting options for Kentucky residents.

Is it Legal to Bet on Sports in Kentucky?

It may seem like betting on the outcomes of sports events with unlicensed live bookies is against the laws of Kentucky, but this isn’t exactly the case. The state has strict gambling laws that prevent sports betting in its jurisdiction, but these laws are limited to those parties who “advance gambling activity.” In other words, the law – which can be found at the Kentucky Legislature website here (Chapter 528) – applies only to would-be bookmakers, not actual sports bettors. The state does not license any bookmaking company to run land-based or online bookie businesses in its jurisdiction. Therefore, residents who place bets with live bookies in Kentucky are running the risk of their bookie being arrested, leading to a complete loss of their bets and/or payouts. It’s just not a good idea.

But several offshore online sportsbooks accept Kentucky residents and it is legal for residents to sign up at any of these offshore online sportsbooks. No law in Kentucky specifically states that it is against the law for residents to sign up at offshore online bookies and place bets on their favorite sports events. In fact, it is completely legal for Kentucky residents to bet on sports at offshore online bookies, but care must be taken when it comes to picking the best books available. It’s the Internet, after all, and there are a lot of scams out there.

Are There Any Types Of State-Sanctioned Legal Sports Betting In Kentucky?

Going into 2021, Kentucky only has legal options for betting: horse racing. They wouldn’t be able to be the home of the “Kentucky Derby” and not allow for bets on the races as the occasion and gambling on it are two sides of the same coin. However, there has been some talk that the 2021 legislative sessions will hold discussions on the Bluegrass State expanding their gambling offerings. Rumors suggest legal sports betting in Kentucky will include more than just horse racing betting.

The Legal Sports Betting Outlook For Kentucky In 2021

Kentucky sports betting legalization didn’t make the cut in 2020 but it did take a number of strides that should be helpful when discussing the topic in the 2021 legislative session. The state has projected that a sports wagering market could see an estimated $22.5 million in annual revenue. With the Coronavirus Pandemic wreaking havoc on the financial situations of states across the US, many governments are looking for new outlets of revenue and in Kentucky, a legal sports betting industry fits the bill. Now, if lawmakers could come up with a bill that fits the needs of both the state and sports bettors in the area in the 2021 session, legal sportsbooks look to be a real possibility for Kentuckians. Should a new bill that gets proposed come to fruition during this time, local sportsbooks might be something the Bluegrass State will offer by the end of 2021.

Useful Article: Is Online Sports Betting Legal In The U.S.

Will Kentucky Residents Get into Trouble for Placing Bets Online?

Kentucky residents will not get into trouble with the law for placing bets on their favorite sports events at offshore online sports betting sites. This is because offshore online bookies accepting Kentucky bettors do not operate from Kentucky and therefore do not violate Kentucky laws in any way. They are all based in overseas countries and run under licenses issued by their own home governments. Besides, the state has no law specifically stating that it is illegal for residents to bet on sports at offshore online sportsbooks, and only those who accept bets inside the state are targeted by existing KY legislation.

To clarify: the only people who will get into trouble are illegal live bookies who operate in Kentucky. Since bookmaking is definitely illegal in Kentucky, running a bookie business is punishable by law. You will not be breaking your state’s gambling laws as long as you stick to the offshore online bookies we have recommended for you, nor will your funds be confiscated as they might be when using a local black market bookmaker.

Where Can Kentucky Residents Bet Sports Online?

Plenty of offshore online sportsbooks accept Kentucky residents and we have selected the best of them for your benefit. The Kentucky friendly online sportsbooks on this list are based in offshore countries and do not violate your state’s laws. These are licensed and regulated online bookie businesses that offer the best odds on favorite US league and college sports events. You can rest assured that they are all trusted and top-rated brands.

Best Online Sportsbooks That Accept Kentucky Residents

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Bovada Sportsbook is a US friendly online sports betting brand which also offers other online gambling services such as an online poker room, casino, and racebook for Thoroughbred action. US bettors prefer signing up for real money at Bovada’s sportsbook because the online bookie covers almost every match that is played under the sun, and this includes popular US league sports and college sports, along with international sporting events.

Since Bovada belongs to a prestigious company called Salmon River Technologies and runs under a license granted by the Kahnawake Gaming Commission out of Canada, bettors can look forward to a 100% safe and secure gambling atmosphere at Bovada Sportsbook. The online bookie allows US bettors to fund their accounts using safe and convenient payment methods, and the service also accepts Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash for both deposits and payouts.

Bovada Sportsbook is also home to attractive features such as mobile betting, live betting, live video streaming, and in-play betting. US bettors can also place bets on their favorite sports events on their mobile devices, which makes it easy to wager no matter where you are in Kentucky. KY residents who sign up at Bovada now can even get a $250 Sports Welcome Bonus to get their wagering off on the right cleat. Sportsbook  - Lifetime Bonuses For Kentucky Residents

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SportsBetting not only offers the best possible odds on a wide range of sports, but the site also includes topnotch customer care service. Bettors are unlikely to face problems at all when they sign up with and use this US friendly online sports betting site, but if they do, they can always get in touch with the online bookie’s customer care representatives via toll-free telephone, email, or live chat.

SportsBetting is unique because it does not stop at offering its customers a new player cash match bonus like other lesser sites. Instead, bettors at SportsBetting can claim a lifetime bonus of 25% (up to $1000) on every deposit they make for as long as they hold real money accounts with the online bookie. Since SportsBetting is licensed and regulated overseas, US bettors can rest assured of the best online sports betting experience.

US bettors can legally wager on a huge selection of sports such as football, soccer, racing, baseball, basketball, and so on at this online bookie. Even better, SportsBetting takes the most varied forms of payment of any major sportsbook, with available options like Visa, Mastercard, American Express, bank wire, cashier’s check, money order, and even Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Litecoin, DASH, and more.

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BetDSI is one of the most comprehensive online sports betting sites that Kentucky residents will find. It has all of the sports, wagering types, and betting odds that you look for when joining an online sportsbook. There are also tons of exciting extra features, such as the mobile betting platform where you can wager on sporting events while you’re waiting in line at the grocery store or are out and about at the bar.

Their mobile sportsbook delivers all of the BetDSI sports betting action into one convenient platform. You can access live betting odds, make deposits, request payouts, claim bonuses, and more, all from your iPhone or Android device. Bet on football, basketball, hockey, baseball, tennis, or any other sport that you prefer. With mobile betting, you have 24/7 access to your sports betting account.

BetDSI offers two different mobile sports betting options. You can visit the site from your iPhone, BlackBerry, or Android device and there is no external app required. Just type in in your mobile browser and you will be directed to the mobile site. There is also a downloadable app that bettors can use depending on the type of device you own, such as a Microsoft Surface. If you are ready to start betting on sports from the palm of your hand, join BetDSI today, where KY residents can get a huge 100% Welcome Bonus worth $500 just for signing up.

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Kentucky Sports Betting Laws

Kentucky has a few sports betting laws, but none of them say a word regarding online sports betting. The existing laws have been written to eliminate unlicensed live bookies from the state and save residents from being cheated by them. These laws are not written with the individual bettor in mind.

While it is definitely against the law for any bookmaking company to run live or online sports betting businesses within the state, the state has nothing in its law books to prevent residents from signing up and placing bets on sports events at offshore online bookies licensed in overseas gambling jurisdictions.

The sports betting laws in Kentucky make it clear that there are no penalties imposed on residents that are interested in legal online sports betting. As long as you use a legitimate online sportsbook you do not have to worry about non-existent KY sports betting laws. To review Kentucky gambling legislation in full, you can check out the state’s official laws here.

Useful Article: Sports Betting Laws in the U.S.A.

Are Online Sportsbooks Accepting Kentucky Residents Regulated?

Kentucky is not able to license and regulate any bookmaking company simply because it has not legalized sports betting. In order to issue licenses to and regulate online sports betting businesses, it must first legalize sports betting and create a set of regulations for its sports betting industry. This is something that is not likely to happen in the immediate future, though now that the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) has been overturned by the Supreme Court, the state can go forward with legalizing the pastime whenever it wishes.

The offshore online bookies that accept Kentucky residents are not regulated by the state. But this does not mean that these online bookies are illegal. They are all licensed in offshore gambling jurisdictions and governed by their strict gambling laws. They will lose their licenses if they do not satisfy their customers and deliver a safe and secure sports betting product. You need not worry about losing your money at the Kentucky friendly online sportsbooks we have listed here.

There Is Definitely No Shortage Of Kentucky Sports Team To Wager On...

If Kentucky legalizes sports betting, it could generate revenue through college basketball betting alone. The top college basketball team in Kentucky is the Wildcats of the University of Kentucky. The state has no professional sports teams, but plenty of minor hockey and baseball teams. Most of the online bookies we recommend offer odds on Kentucky college basketball events.

What Are The Benefits To Legal Kentucky Sports Betting?

There is definitely no shortage of Kentucky sports teams to wager on. If Kentucky legalizes sports betting, it could generate massive revenue through taxing the betting on college basketball alone. The top college basketball team in Kentucky is the Wildcats of the University of Kentucky, and annual excitement for this club reaches a fever pitch in KY, unlike anywhere else in the country. The state has no professional sports teams, but it hosts plenty of minor hockey and baseball teams, and KY residents have a number of teams to root for in surrounding states.

KY residents wager an estimated $5 billion on sports betting each year. That translates into roughly $250 million of taxable sports betting revenue that could come back into the state if it opens sportsbooks inside its borders, not to mention all the economic good that comes from keeping most of that massive handle inside the state instead of sending it overseas. Hopefully, KY gets the memo sooner rather than later and gives its residents the sports betting products they want.

The latest legislation for legalized sports betting in KY comes via BR 29, which you can read here. This law calls for a mere 3% tax on the total sportsbook handle, however, making it unlikely that the law will be passed in its current form, as that 3% represents about 55-65% of a sportsbook’s average projected earnings. Greedy Kentucky! Bad!

Kentucky Online Sportsbooks FAQ’s

What Does The + And - Mean When Sports Betting?

When looking at American odds, the + sign designates the underdog and means that your potential earnings are greater than the amount you will need to risk. The - sign designates the favorite and means that you will have to risk more than you will potentially win. This is called the moneyline, and it works like this:

Houston Rockets (+190) vs. San Antonio Spurs (-220)

A bet on the favored San Antonio Spurs would cost you $220 to win $100. If you bet on the underdog Houston Rockets, you only need to wager $100 to potentially win $190. In non-straight bets, like spread bets, the moneyline works the same way, but both teams usually carry the same moneyline (usually -110 or so). This shows the built-in vigorish, or house take, for the bookmaker (in this case, about 10% of the wagers).

What Does PASPA Stand For?

PASPA was the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992, a federal law that prohibited states from legalizing land-based sports betting. The only exceptions were NV, DE, OR, and MT due to their prior legal sports betting options, though only NV was allowed to offer comprehensive sportsbooks. (The other states’ sports betting options were random lotteries based on sporting events.) PASPA is the reason why there are no land-based sportsbooks in KY, but with PASPA now gone, that could change in the future.

Are Bonuses Only For New Members At Online Sportsbooks?

No, there are generally several different bonuses and promotions happening at online sportsbooks. While there is always some type of welcome offer, most sports betting sites also have reload bonuses, free bets, and free-plays that can be redeemed by all members. Check the promotions page frequently for the latest bonuses.

Can I Bet At The Horse Racing Tracks In Kentucky?

There are not any options to bet on sports at the Kentucky horse tracks… yet. The state is working towards legalizing the industry and some ideas have sports betting being offered at the tracks. Others would only allow for the lottery to accept wagers but one thing is for sure – Kentucky players can bet on horses and sports by using an offshore sportsbook.

What Is The Kentucky Sports Betting Age?

You can wager on sporting events in Kentucky the second you turn 2 Some sites may accept players as young 18 but we advise sticking with the state’s laws. You will have to verify your age when making a withdrawal and being underage can result in account termination and the confiscation of winnings. Be on the safe side and only bet when you are within the laws.

Where Will Sports Betting Revenue Be Allocated In Kentucky?

Kentucky is one of the states that seem to be putting the money to good use. While it is only proposed and not approved (yet), the state would send the majority of the money into the state pension fund which gives benefits to employees and retirement funds. Additionally, the state would allocate a portion of the funds to treat problem gambling.

What Kentucky Teams Can I Bet On?

Well to start, look into the University of Kentucky’s basketball program. Their high-profile team has continually proven to win plenty of games and would be a great intro into betting. If you don’t like the Wildcats or want to bet elsewhere, consider the University of Louisville or Western Kentucky University. Both of these teams have strong athletic programs and have even made a Final Four in the NCAA Tournament.

Do Any Neighboring States Offer Sports Betting?

While states are constantly in a battle to approve a measure in support of sports betting, one state was quick to the punch. West Virginia legalized the industry in 2018 and accepts wagers on Kentucky based universities as well as professional teams. Mardi Gras Casino is just over the Kentucky border, being a direct shot east on I-64 from both Lexington and Louisville.