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Kentucky Online Gambling Scene: Best Casino Sites and Apps

Need to work out if you can play Kentucky online casino games, or if there’s anywhere to play classic American games in KY? Find all of the answers here.

Kentucky has not legalized online casino gaming and doesn’t have any regulated or tribal casino venues in operation.

Famous for one of the single-largest gambling events of the American calendar, Kentucky is surprisingly against most forms of gambling. Of course, at the tracks and especially during the Kentucky Derby, you’re free to gamble, but other than that, the Bluegrass State is distinctly anti-gambling.

This is most prominently showcased in the classic gambling form, casino gaming. Most states that are anti-gambling still permit tribal casinos, but Kentucky’s criteria doesn’t even allow for the Native Americans to establish a games venue.

On the one hand, there has been some significant progress made in terms of gambling in the state of Kentucky. On March 31, 2023, Kentucky governor Andy Beshear signed House Bill 5581 into law. 

That made Kentucky the 38th US state to legalize sports betting. In this case, both retail and online sports betting sites were given the green light. 

On the other hand, all casino gambling – both at retail brick and mortar sites and via online casinos – are against the law in Kentucky. And there’s no indication of that situation changing anytime in the near future.

Of course, as the home to the Kentucky Derby, betting on horse racing is a big part of the Kentucky gambling scene, through live racing, off track wagering and via historical horse racing machines. There’s the state lottery and daily fantasy sports for other options.

Kentucky’s Best Gambling Sites

Legal and regulated sports betting officially launched in Kentucky on September 28, 2023. There are currently eight different online sports betting options accessible to players in the Bluegrass State. However, there are enough licenses available that as many as 27 sportsbooks could eventually be operating in the state.

These are some of the more well-known sportsbooks operating in Kentucky.

BetMGM: A legendary name in the gambling industry, the BetMGM app is carrying on that legacy. It always draws rave reviews for its user experience. Along with a $1500 second-chance bet offer to new players, BetMGM is continually offering promotions to existing players and delivers a stellar lineup of betting types and markets. 

Bet365: A first best safety net offer of up to $1000, bonus boosts of as much as 70% on same-game parlays and early cash out options on most sports are highlights of the Bet365 platform. Bet365 was among the first Kentucky betting sites to launch on September 28, 2023. If you’re a fan of international sports, Bet365’s worldwide popularity makes it a destination to bet on sports such as soccer, rugby and cricket. They are also industry leaders in live in-play wagering and live streaming of events. 

Caesars: Offering everything from bonus bets to free stays at their famous resorts, the Caesars Rewards program sets the bar high in this industry. They provide a first bet refund in bonus covering a maximum of $1000. Caesars is also known for its array of same-game parlays and daily odds boosts packages. 

ESPN BET: You’ll also get up to $1000 in first bet coverage if that wager is a loser when you’re a new customer at ESPN BET. ESPN personalities offer you betting tips and they deliver plenty of odds boosts and a parlay plus promotion, which enables you to enhance what you might win from a same-game parlay play.

Online Casino Sites in Kentucky

There’s a unique landscape when it comes to online gambling in Kentucky. Along with sports betting and horse racing, you can also play the lottery online in the Bluegrass State. 

However, what you can’t do is gamble online at a casino site. In fact, you can’t gamble at a real money casino of any kind in Kentucky. Casino gambling is not legal in the state.

The state does allow charity casinos to operate.

It is illegal to gamble at an online casino in Kentucky. You won’t find any legal and regulated Kentucky online casino websites, with the state being staunchly against such activities. A crackdown on over 100 gambling domains in the state made it clear that Kentucky is not open for business, nor are its residents permitted to play at online casinos that evade the purge.

Based on the current laws in Kentucky and the overall market in states nearby BetMGM, Caesars and Twinspires are among the first casinos expected to go live in the state in 2024.

Kentucky’s most expected online casinos:

  • BetMGM Casino
  • Hard Rock Casino
  • bet365 Casino KY
  • BetRivers Casino Kentucky
  • Twinspires Casino

Best Online Casino Apps & Games in Kentucky

It is illegal to play online casino games in Kentucky. When it comes to real money casino gaming online, the very best of the bunch show some incredible innovations and entertaining gameplay. However, if you’re in Kentucky, you won’t be able to play any of the best casino games in Kentucky. This is primarily because all casinos of any kind are banned in the state, let alone the top online casino brands that accumulate the most popular titles.

It is illegal to gamble on online casino apps in Kentucky. As is the case with Kentucky online casinos, mobile casino apps are also illegal. The Bluegrass State’s gambling laws are very strict and enforced, so very few operators would want to venture into the market with casino gaming apps. That said, even if an app becomes available, under standing law, you should avoid them due to the potential repercussions.

Top Land-based Casinos in Kentucky and Online Bonuses

Kentucky doesn’t have any land-based casinos. The hard-line stance against online casinos originates from their stance against gambling on Kentucky turf. The state hasn’t licensed or permitted the establishment of any of its own casinos. Usually, Native American tribes are allowed to start casinos, but as neither of the Kentucky-based tribes has federal recognition, they’re not allowed to build a casino. As such, Kentucky is a barren space for the classic American pastime.

It is illegal to sign-up and claim bonuses at any potential online casino in Kentucky. As it’s illegal to sign-up to a Kentucky online casino, it’s also against the law to claim and use any bonuses that you may find. Most bonuses require a deposit to claim, which would constitute real money gambling.

The top online casino bonus offers aren’t present in the online casino scene in Kentucky. Without casinos to create the bonus offers, you won’t find any of the top online promotions while in the Bluegrass State.

Kentucky Online Casinos

The state has no online casino legislation and none is planned at present.

Most expected online casinos in Kentucky:

Online Poker ↗

Online poker is illegal with no in-person options to play either. Offshore sportsbooks offering online poker operate outside of US law, so players participate at their own risk and with no consumer protection.

Online Lottery ↗

A state lottery has been running since 1989 and along with retailers selling tickets up and down the state, there are also online sales available. Players must be 18 to participate.

It may in principle be one of the most famous gambling locations in the US – the Kentucky Derby is among the best-known sports events in the world and horse race betting is legal along with the sports betting. You can place online bets in Kentucky with bet365, betMGM, BetRivers and other licensed gambling sites in 2024.

Kentucky Sweepstakes Casinos

Should you want to play casino games legally online in Kentucky, there is one option. You can go with a social casino.

Social, or sweepstakes casinos, don’t allow you to directly win real money for play. At the same time, it’s entirely possible to play their casino games without ever spending any of your own money.

Instead, you play for entertainment purposes with gold coins. Or you can opt for sweeps coins. Winnings from this type of play can be exchanged for prizes.

These are some of the more popular social casinos accessible in Kentucky.

Pulz Casino: In operation since 2020, the Pulz Casino offers more than 700 games to play. There are table games and over 200 of their own unique slots available to try out. You can also play on their mobile app. Every day, the Pulz Casino is offering bonus and promotional opportunities to gain free coins for game play.

Chumba Casino: They start you off with an amazing 2 million gold coins and two sweeps coins when you open a new account at Chumba Casino. They’ve been in business since 2017 and offer more than 100 games to play, both slots and table games.

Luckyland Slots: There are 121 games available at Luckyland Slots and even though their name would suggest otherwise, that total includes table games. Newcomers are welcomed with a signup bonus offer of 7777 gold coins and 10 sweeps coins. Unfortunately, the Luckyland Slots app is only available for Android users.

Kentucky Casino Gambling FAQ

Get answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about Kentucky casinos.

Are gambling losses an itemized deduction in KY?

As it stands, you are allowed to list gambling losses as an itemized deduction on your submitted gambling winnings in Kentucky.

Where’s the nearest casino in KY?

You won’t find a casino nearby in Kentucky, but the closest to Louisville is probably the Horseshoe Southern Indiana Casino.

Are there slot machines in KY?

At some of the Kentucky racetracks, you’ll be able to find instant racing machines that are similar to slots but run results based on past races.

What is the Legal Gambling Age in KY?

If in the scenario you could bet at an online casino in Kentucky, the legal gambling age stands at 18-years-old. In a state that’s mostly devoid of gambling activity, Kentucky upholds one of the United States’ lowest legal ages across the board. To partake in any legal gambling activity in the state, you need to be at least 18-years-old.

Tax When Gambling in KY?

Gambling wins in Kentucky are subject to state and federal taxation. For filing your taxes, you’ll want to include your gambling wins and losses on your federal and state reports. The IRS will tax winnings at a rate of 24 percent, while Kentucky imposes a flat 5 percent income tax.

Where in Kentucky can I get help with problem gambling?

Gambling can be enjoyable for most people, but some find it can become problematic. If you are struggling to cope with your gambling, or a friend or relative has a problem, help is available. For more information, see Kentucky – National Council on Problem Gambling (ncpgambling.org).