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Sports Betting

Five Things You Need to Know About Kentucky Sports Betting, KY Online Sports Betting Apps

Staff Writer



Everything you need to know about Kentucky sports betting and legal online sports betting in KY, with Free bet offers & promo codes

One would imagine that a state with one of the most notorious horse racing tracks in the world that hosts the most famous horse race in the world would be a prime location for a massive sports betting hub. And, that assumption was ALMOST correct. It’s a bit muddy on how it all works, but Kentucky actually had enough votes for a sports betting bill (H 137), but died because of the Coronavirus pandemic. The only question now is, “when will the bill see the light of day again?” Below you’ll find the five most important things you need to know about Kentucky sports betting and KY online sports betting apps.

1) Is Kentucky Sports Betting Legal?

Technically speaking, sports betting in Kentucky is not illegal. However, it is illegal to “advance gambling,” i.e. bookmaking, so there is no legal sports gambling in the state of Kentucky. It is a tad ironic that Kentucky is so strict on the practice, considering they house one of the most beloved gambling locales in the country.

2) What Bills are Currently Before the State Legislature?

Kentucky introduced a bill with bipartisan support that would expand Kentucky’s betting empire, but it has essentially been struck down due to some clever maneuvering by opposed legislators. Amendments tacked onto the proposed bill would make taxes on both online and in-person revenues exorbitantly higher, which would make the bill far less likely to gain support. As such, despite being a Mecca for horse racing, Kentucky appears to be a ways away from fully introducing sports betting. Other amendments to the bill would open local governments to create their own restrictions on gambling.

Interestingly enough, other amendments include increasing gambling addiction assistance funding threefold and would open up sports gambling to locales other than racetracks, such as lottery retailers and restaurants, so long as they acquire a license. These amendments, combined with the tax increases, may put a bit of a damper on potential votes when the bill hits the floor. Some sponsors of the bill are confident they can strike down the amendments and pass the bill, but that is to be seen at this time.

If the bill is to pass, it would allow for wagering on professional and collegiate sports, but not high school sports. It would also introduce a $250,000 licensing fee for potential bookmakers.

3) What are the Next Steps for KY Sports Betting?

Not only is online gambling not legal in Kentucky, they have gone further than virtually any other state in trying to keep access away from residents. For starters, all online gambling sites were ordered to turn their domains over the state in 2008 as they were considered to be “gambling devices,” which were illegal. They also were the first state to attempt a lawsuit against offshore sites. However, both of these measures were eventually dropped, as the state lacked the authority to enforce forfeitures of domains nor could they enforce federal trade laws. Still, that gives an idea of what the state has though about online gambling in the recent past.

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In the meantime, offshore books are accessible to Kentucky residents, but with all states, it is not a risk-free endeavor. The U.S. cannot enforce these sites to pay out winnings, so players are gambling at their own risk.

4) What are the Most Popular Teams to Bet on in KY?

Kentucky does not have any professional sports teams in the major North American leagues, but it does have multiple college teams with rabid fanbases. Most notably, the Universities of Kentucky and Louisville are longtime basketball powerhouses with an intense rivalry, and their football teams have been fairly successful in years past as well. Assuming Kentucky’s gambling provisions would not include bans on collegiate gambling, those two would be the most popular targets.

5) Is There Anything Else to Know About Kentucky Sports Betting?

Kentucky is a haven for betting on horse racing with Churchill Downs in Louisville serving as the most famous racetrack on the planet. That said, horse racing is the only real option to make sports-adjacent bets in person at this time. However, you can get your fix via the major DFS apps — DraftKings and FanDuel. The minimum age to participate in DFS is 18.

Aside from horse racing, there are no legal sportsbook websites that accept bets from anyone within the state of Kentucky.

Kentucky hasn’t always been a haven for legal gambling. However, that seems to be changing. Here’s a quick look at the  gambling history in the state:

  • The state constitution is written with anti-gambling language to restrict underground lotteries.
  • The Kentucky Derby is founded in 1875.
  • Kentucky becomes a major horse racing center and pari-mutuel betting thrives.
  • In 1988 the state lottery is introduced.
  • In 1992 more legislation is passed allowing charity bingo, raffles, and pull-tabs.
  • In 2018 PASPA is repealed and Kentucky takes first steps towards a legal sports betting bill.

What are the Most Common Types of Bets I Can Make in Kentucky?

Straight bet

This is the most common bet type and it is just a straight up single bet on a game. A point spread is determined by the oddsmakers with one team being favored by a certain amount of points. Let’s take a look at an example line below to give a clear indication of what a straight bet would be:

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Boston Celtics -6.5 (-110), moneyline -320

at Cleveland Cavaliers +6.5 (-110), moneyline +260

O/U 206

The Celtics are favored by 6.5 points in this example. This means that if you bet the Cavaliers, you are getting 6.5 points, so if the Cavaliers win the game, or lose by fewer than seven points, you will win the bet because of your 6.5-point cushion. On the other side, when you are laying 6.5 points as the favorite, you would need the Celtics to win by seven or more to win the bet.

Final Score: Celtics 102 Cavaliers 98. Cavaliers would cover even though the Celtics won the game because the +6.5 point spread is enough to cover a four-point defeat.

Moneyline Bet

The moneyline is a bet where there is no spread; you are just picking the winner of the game. In the example above, the Cavaliers ML is +260, which means that for every $100 wagered, you win $260 if the Cavaliers win the game outright. They receive the plus side of the moneyline since they are the underdog and picking them rewards you with nice odds since they are projected to likely lose the game. On the flip side, if you bet the Celtics ML at -320, you have to bet $320 to win $100. They are the favorites so if you decide to bet the moneyline instead of the point spread, you are forced to bet additional money to win $100.

In the example above, the Celtics ML would be the winner as they won the game outright. The spread is irrelevant for a moneyline wager.


This is a straight bet wagering on how many total combined points will be scored in a game by both teams. For example, an NBA game may have an over/under of 210 points, which means that the oddsmakers are projecting a combined points total of 210 between the two teams. If you think the teams are going to score more than 210 points total, you bet the over, and conversely, if you think it’s going to be a defensive struggle, you can bet the under hoping that the total points scored equals 209 points or less.


A parlay is a bet where you combine multiple bets into one bet and you get increased odds because you only win your parlay wager if all of your bets win. If you do a three-team parlay, you select three different teams from three different games and if you win all three of the bets you hit your parlay for longshot odds (6-1 so $100 to win $600). Going 0/3, 1/3, or 2/3 is all the same and you lose the parlay bet. It’s all or nothing which makes them tough to hit and is more of a home run type bet than a regular straight bet since there’s a chance for a big payoff.

Kentucky Sports Betting FAQs

  1. Is Sports Betting Legal in State?
  2. How Can I bet in state?
  3. Will Kentucky have Online Sports Betting or Sports Betting Apps?
  4. How Do I Open an Account?
  5. How Do I Deposit and Withdraw?
  6. Do I have to be in state to place a bet?
  7. What Games Can I bet on?
  8. What Companies Will be Offering Sports Betting?
  9. What Kind of Taxes Do I have to Pay?
  10. How Old Do I have to Be to Bet in State?
  11. What are the Betting Limits?
  12. Where Do I go if I have a problem?

Need more sports betting information? Check out the Awesemo betting home page.

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