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Gambling Laws in Kentucky: Is Kentucky Sports Betting Legal in 2024?

Last Updated on 05/19/2024
Fact checked by: Vicky Winters

If you are among the impatient bettors wondering if sports betting is legal in Kentucky, you will be happy to know that changes are already under way.

Eight sportsbook platforms have been given the green light by Kentucky authorities. Those offering in-person sports betting have been able to offer their services at selected retail outlets since 7 September. Meanwhile, online sports betting operators will not go live until 28 September.

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When it comes to sports betting, the Kentucky gambling scene is divided between retail sports betting at land-based venues and online sportsbook platforms. As it stands, in-person sports gambling in Kentucky has been available since 7 September at specified locations such as Churchill Downs racetrack and Derby City Gaming in Louisville.

On the other hand, online betting is also legal in Kentucky under the proviso that the operators will not start accepting sports bets until 28 September.

KY gambling laws and pre-launch offers

Although sportsbooks cannot actually accept online sports bets until September 28, eight operators have been granted permission to offer pre-launch welcome offers and to accept new bettor registrations up until 27 September. Most of these offers are already available on the Kentucky websites for the relevant operators.

With legislation opened up and sports betting made legal in Kentucky, bettors are left with only one major task: to choose an operator from the list of legitimate options that are already available in the marketplace.

The countdown to the date that online sports betting is actually legal in KY has already begun, so here we bring you some highlights of the top-branded sportsbooks soon to enter the Kentucky online sports betting market.

1. DraftKings

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  • Several payment methods
  • Many betting markets
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DraftKings, is a renowned name in the sportsbooks industry and is already operational in many US states. So it is no surprise that it is keen to spread its wings further now that sports betting has been legalized in the Bluegrass state.

Mobile betting experience

DraftKings will be offering its KY online betting availability via dedicated apps for both iOS and Android users. The brand is set on offering all of the sports and features you may ask for and promises an uninterrupted and immersive betting experience. Highlights will include in play betting and live streaming, allowing you to place bets as the game progresses.

Additionally, Draftkings offers early cash-out on several markets, giving you the chance to settle your bet before the end of the game. Once the brand goes live on 28 September, bettors will be able to use all of these great features provided they are located within KY state lines.

Pre-launch deal

The Draftkings pre-launch bonus offers $200 in bonus bets for new users who sign up before 06.00 EST on 28 September. After that time the offer will end, but anyone who has taken advantage will automatically receive eight $25 bonus bets in the account.

As an existing DraftKings user, you will also benefit from the Dynasty Rewards program which allows users to climb up through different tiers, accumulating points or "crowns" and reaping increasing rewards. Overall, we think that DraftKings is already well-positioned to be a frontrunner in the market now that sports gambling is legal in Kentucky.

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2. BetMGM

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  • App for Android and iOS
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While people were still wondering if sports betting is legal in Kentucky, BetMGM wasted no time, and it is now all set to become a fan-favorite among the betting community of the Bluegrass state. The pre-launch welcome bonus they already have in place offers those who sign up before 28 September $100 in bonus bets, paid as four $25 bets over four weeks.

In-game wagering

BetMGM has plenty more cards to play; the platform offers live betting options for local and international sport events, live streaming on selected sports, early cash-out options and dedicated mobile applications, available for both iOS and Android, which ensures that the world of betting is always just a tap away.

Safe payment options

The accepted payment options are diverse and convenient, and you will never have safety concerns, as BetMGM is fully regulated and implements high-level security protocols. With the imminent changes in the KY gambling laws, BetMGM seems ready to lead the charge once the gates open on 28 September.

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3. FanDuel

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  • Several good offers
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FanDuel is another well-known name in this industry that is at the forefront of the sportsbook market. Ahead of its official launch on 28 September, the platform has already prepared a pre-launch signup offer tailored for Kentucky residents.

Pre-launch offer

Those who register between 28 August and 23.59 EST on 27 September will receive $100 in bonus bets and a coupon code for a $100 discount on NFL Sunday Tickets. You don’t need any promo code to claim this offer; simply register for your first account during the pre-launch period. The bonus bets will automatically be added to your FanDuel account the minute the platform goes live on 28 September.

Extensive sportsbook section

When taking a closer look at the sportsbook, FanDuel's platform didn’t disappoint. Its offering is extensive, catering to both traditional sports lovers and the innovators who prefer fantasy sports.

Horse racing aficionados aren't left behind either, as FanDuel offers a dedicated section just for racing events, which includes live betting and live streaming of many events. Now that online sports betting is legal in Kentucky, FanDuel is gearing up to be a top player.

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4. Fanatics

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  • Loyalty program
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  • Not many banking options

Fanatics is another operator that we have to mention now that online sports betting is legal in Kentucky. Their pre-launch offer is available to all residents who meet the legal gambling age in Kentucky, which is 18 years or over. By pre-registering on the Fanatics platform before the live launch on 28 September, new bettors can secure a team jersey worth up to $150 with a bet of just $50 placed on launch day.

Loyalty program & withdrawal tracker

Unique to Fanatics is their unusual reward program. The FanCash loyalty program gives bettors the opportunity to earn points,known as FanCash, that can be accumulated and later redeemed for merchandise on the Fanatics website.

Compared to other providers, their deposit and withdrawal options are not as extensive, but what makes them stand out is their innovative and unique approach. In a few words, Fanatics seems to have all the makings to become a popular choice for Kentucky’s sports betting community.

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5. Caesars

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  • Several promotions
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Caesars is another industry leader about to enter Kentucky's betting scene. One appreciated feature of Caesars that is not commonly found among sportsbooks and that really sets it apart is the option of micro betting markets. This unique feature allows precision wagers on specific in-game actions. Furthermore, with their early cash-out, live betting, and streaming options, Caesars ensures an all-rounded betting experience.

Pre-launch deal

Caesars is another operator which already has a generous pre-launch deal up for grabs. For any Kentucky resident aged 21 years or over, who signs up between now and 23.59 EST on 27 September, they will automatically receive a total of $100 in bonus bets after the operator officially goes live on 28 September. As the countdown to the launch of online sports betting in Kentucky proceeds, we have no doubts that Caesars, with its rich legacy and innovative offerings, will soon establish itself in the market.

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6. Bet365

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  • Several sports options
  • Reputable brand
  • Bet boost
  • Website interface could be more intuitive

Bet365 is another industry leader ready to step into Kentucky’s online sports betting arena on 28 September. When it comes to markets, this platform promises plenty of superb betting opportunities, from mainstream sports like football and baseball to niche options like table tennis and darts.

Pre-launch opportunity

Their pre-launch offer is a statement of its intent to support and embrace Kentucky’s sporting heritage. Those who register on Bet365 before their official live launch on 28 September, will have the opportunity to win $10 for every touchdown in the NFL game on that day, up to a maximum value of $50.

Dedicated mobile app for Android and iOS

Their mobile application, compatible with both Android and iOS, giving bettors the flexibility to wager on the go, and their customer support team is reachable through live chat, email and Twitter, ready to answer any query might arise. All in all, with its comprehensive pre-launch offer and enviable reputation, Bet365 will surely bring plenty of value to the new Kentucky betting scene.

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Conclusion

The legalization of sports betting in Kentucky marks a significant change in the state's approach to gambling. Beginning September 28, online sports betting will be available to all Kentucky sports fans, a move that has been eagerly anticipated by many and made possible by the granting of temporary licenses to operators, which will ensure their legal operation within the state.

This development has paved the way for several top operators to enter the Kentucky sports betting market, each bringing their unique offerings and features. As the Bluegrass state prepares, prospective bettors have an array of top-branded sportsbooks and pre-launch offers to select from, making the future of sports betting in Kentucky look very positive indeed.

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Retail sports betting is legal in Kentucky already, having commenced on 7 September. However, online sports betting enthusiasts have to wait a little longer as online platforms won’t officially go live until 28 September. If you would like to find out more, feel free to check out our full article.

👀 Which are the online sportsbooks that will be available in Kentucky?

There are eight online sportsbooks operators ready to launch in the Kentucky market on 28 September and they feature some of the most well-known names include DraftKings, BetMGM, FanDuel, Fanatics, Caesars, and Bet365. Each of these operators offers unique features and betting experiences for sports enthusiasts. If you would like to read more about any of them, don’t miss out on reading our reviews.

No, online casino gambling is not currently legal in Kentucky. While the state has legalized sports betting, both offline and online, online casinos remain out of reach for residents. However, if you would like to learn more feel free to read our main article on gambling in Kentucky.

Online sports betting is now legal in Kentucky. Although online sportsbooks will not be able to accept bets until 28 September, retail sportsbooks went live on September 7. To find more about what’s in store for bettors in the Bluegrass state, don’t miss our selection of guides and reviews.

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