Legal Kentucky Online Gambling, Poker & Casinos

The Bluegrass State of Kentucky takes a largely strict stance towards the gambling industry. However, its proud history of thoroughbred horse racing means that all wagers at horse racing tracks are permitted.

The Kentucky state also operates its own lottery, with residents permitted to buy lottery tickets for multi-state lotteries too. The state lottery has also recently gone online, which is a positive step in the right direction, particularly for the millennial generation in Kentucky.

Despite only legalizing state lotteries and horse racing betting, Kentucky rakes in $839 million a year from its gambling industry.

Kentucky Gambling Laws - Summary and Look to the Future

At the time of writing, no state law exists that is applicable to placing online wagers while living in Kentucky. However, it's worth noting that Kentucky was one of the first states to take legal action against iGaming operators, seizing a raft of domain names and online portals.

On the whole, it's important to note that online gambling is not explicitly illegal in Kentucky. No online bettors residing in Kentucky have ever been prosecuted and those who opt to use offshore online gambling operators will have even less chance of being prosecuted.

Kentucky Gambling Laws - A Brief History

  • 1891 - All forms of gambling outlawed in Kentucky except horse racing.
  • 1931 - Kentucky state votes to uphold legality of horse racing betting after legal challenge.
  • 1988 - Inaugural state-operated lottery founded.
  • 1992 - State votes to legalize charitable gambling.
  • 2012 - Prospective casino gambling legislature voted down by Kentucky senate.

What Types of Gambling are Legal in Kentucky?

  • Casino Gambling – Casino gambling is not legal in Kentucky and there are no casinos in the state. At two of the racetracks they have instant racing which is similar to slot machines except the symbols displayed are based on past races.
  • Sports Betting – Sports betting in Kentucky is legal on horse racing only. Kentucky has introduced a sports betting bill but it hasn’t passed yet. You can follow sports betting in Kentucky here.
  • Online Betting – Online betting is legal in Kentucky for horse racing.
  • Daily Fantasy – Most of the major DFS companies like Fanduel and Draft Kings take players from Kentucky.
  • Poker – There is currently no legal poker in Kentucky. Kentucky sued online poker site and was awarded $870 million is damages.
  • Bingo – Bingo is legal in Kentucky for charities.
  • Lottery – Kentucky has a lottery as well as scratch off tickets and instant lotteries.