Online Gambling in Kentucky

In this article, you will learn about Kentucky online gambling. Currently, there are no legal online gambling options in the state. Some state legislators are trying to legalize online sports betting in the state, but all attempts have been denied thus far. Bills are constantly being pushed, and progress has been made, although there is no timetable for Kentucky sports betting.

Sports betting looked promising in 2020, but nothing came to fruition. Kentucky, which is the home state of the Kentucky Derby, would benefit immensely from online betting. Churchill Downs and the other tracks in the state could be a significant factor in legal online wagering eventually coming to the state.

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Kentucky Online Gambling: The Facts

  • Legal Kentucky online gambling options: None
  • Legal gambling age: 18 at racetracks.
  • Who regulates Kentucky online gambling? N/A
  • Legal mobile gambling? No
  • Do I need to be physically located in Kentucky to gamble online? N/A
  • Do I need to be a resident of Kentucky to gamble online? N/A
  • Sports avalable to bet on: Horse racing at racetracks only.
  • What can't I bet on? Sports.

A Brief History of Kentucky Online Gambling 

Kentucky online gambling isn't currently legal. The state gained the ability to legalize online betting in 2018. That was when the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) was deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. The state of New Jersey then took the Act to the Supreme Court.

Professional sports leagues tried to prevent NJ from legalizing sports betting. They cited PASPA as their defense. Although the battle spanned close to a decade, the states emerged victorious. 

The Kentucky legislature has attempted to legalize online sports betting since 2017. The first legislator to propose a bill was Senator Julian Carroll. Carroll designated the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission as the governing body over the state's sports betting.

This was before PASPA was ruled unconstitutional, and so the bill was not taken seriously. Then, in 2019, four sports betting bills were introduced in the KY state legislature. However, Governor Matt Bevin required the sports betting bill to be favored by 60% in the legislature. And that ended bettors' hopes for 2019.

Recent Developments

In 2020, Kentucky had its best chance to enact legal online sports betting, but they did not deliver. That was a budget year, and legislators believed that sports betting could be used to fill the deficit. 

The new Governor, Andy Beshear, announced that he approved every aspect of the 2019 bill proposed by Representative Andy Koenig. Koenig made some late changes that caused the bill to stall.

He outlawed in-state college betting and required an 18-month period where online bettors would have to sign-up in-person for a mobile account. His fellow representatives demanded 11 amendments to the new bill.   

On April 15th the state legislature adjourned without the bill being passed to the Senate. As Kentucky's 2021 legislative session runs from January 5th to March 30th, it's unlikely that any bills will be enacted in the shortened 60-day session. 

Kentucky Online Gambling: The Current Law

There is no online gambling allowed in Kentucky. Most likely, online betting will be legalized in 2022. But that's just an educated guess. There is no current timetable for the legalization of online gambling. 

There are no legal online sportsbooks in Kentucky. Fortunately, Kentucky borders a few states with major sports betting markets. This means that bettors can play with DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM, and other operators by traveling across borders. 

All of these sportsbooks will be keen to launch in Kentucky when sports betting is legalized in the state. There is a strong desire for sports betting in Kentucky, so major books have been lobbying for the state legislature to legalize sports betting.  

Sports Betting in Kentucky

College sports are very popular in Kentucky and the state is home to numerous Division I athletic programs. The two largest colleges are the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville.

Kentucky competes in the SEC and Louisville is a member of the ACC. Both of these schools have impressive football and basketball programs that people in the state adore. There are no professional sports teams in Kentucky, but people would still bet if they were given the opportunity. 

If Kentucky legalized in-state college betting, it would yield a big return in the form of tax revenue. When Kentucky legalizes sports betting, these are the wagers that should be offered in the state.

The moneyline, point spread, and totals are the most common wagers. It is likely that prop bets could also be allowed. However, a few states have banned some types of props, especially at the collegiate level. Props tend to focus on individual players or small statistics in a game. 

There have been discussions to legalize online casinos in KY. However, it's unlikely that online casino games will be legalized before sports betting. Kentucky has limited casino gaming options available in the state.

Six commercial casinos offer electronic gaming machines. Most of these are paired with racetracks because of the sport's popularity in the state. Kentucky does not offer table games like Blackjack, poker, or roulette

There are no legal online poker options in Kentucky. Similarly, poker is not legalized in the landlocked casinos in the state. Therefore, it's improbable that this will change anytime soon.  

How to Set Up a Kentucky Online Gambling Account 

If Kentucky legalizes online gambling, you may have to sign-up in-person to play online. This was part of the 2019 bill that did not pass. This will likely be the case in future legislation, but you will need to give the same information.

You will need to provide your name, address, date of birth, and social security number upon registration, depending on the site. This can be alarming to new bettors, but it's the necessary protocol to keep you safe while betting online. 

The most critical security measure for a person is to choose a strong password with letters, numbers, and characters. This will keep the funds safe in your account. Of course, you should always log out of your account at the end of a session to protect yourself should your device get stolen. 

Kentucky Banking Methods

Banking methods for online banking accounts are standard in the United States for legal states. Online banking methods are dependent on the sports betting provider. The best sites offer a lot of banking options. 

The frequent banking options provided are credit/debit cards, PayPal, Neteller, PayNearMe, e-Check through ACH Payments, or a banking wire. No matter what platform you use, your information will be safe. 

Safety is a priority for online gambling platforms, or they would not stay in business. States require sportsbooks to go through a series of safety measures before going live. Legal platforms are much safer than offshore sites.  

The Future of Online Gambling in Kentucky

Kentucky has a bright future for online gambling. At a minimum, sports betting will be legalized in the state shortly. It's unlikely that online casino gambling will come to fruition soon because of the state's foundational beliefs. Additionally, online casino gaming is not as widespread in the United States as online sports betting.

The 2021 legislative session is only 60 days long, so it will probably be 2022 before KY legalizes sports betting. The state just needs an entire legislative session to garner enough support for sports betting.

Kentucky Online Gambling FAQ

Is online gambling legal in Kentucky?
No, online gambling is not legal in Kentucky. Sports betting is not realistic until 2022, with the 2021 legislative session only spanning 60 days.
What states around Kentucky offer legal sports betting?
Six states that border Kentucky offers legal sports betting. These states are Illinois, Indiana, West Virginia, Virginia, Tennessee, and Arkansas.
Do online casino games and poker have a chance to be legalized?
It's unlikely that online casino games will be legalized in Kentucky. Kentucky does not allow table games in their landlocked casinos. Therefore, it's doubtful that they will offer online gaming sites shortly. Sports betting should be the first online gambling category to be legalized.
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