Kentucky Online Casinos and Gambling Sites

Written by: Ashley Grasse , Specialist in Casino, Games, and Trends
Kentucky Gambling Laws State Flag Icon

Kentucky has always been protective of its storied horse racing industry. Therefore, it has resisted certain forms of new gambling, like online gaming and land-based casinos

A breakthrough happened in 2023 when retail and online sports betting became available. 

Now, you can enjoy legal online gambling in The Bluegrass State through licensed mobile sportsbooks.

KY Internet casinos remain in a grey area, but you can still play at offshore sites with no trouble. 

We will cover the legalities of online gaming in this state, and also land-based forms of betting, like sportsbooks, casinos, lotteries, and horse tracks.

Kentucky Gambling Highlights

Want to gamble in Kentucky? The following table provides a snapshot of what forms of gambling are legal in the state.

From online casinos to land-based casinos and other forms of gambling such as state lottery.

Is Gambling Legal?

Yes

Legal Gambling Age

18+

Land-Based Casinos

No

Online Casinos

No

Land-Based Sports Betting

Yes

Online Sportsbooks

Yes

Legal State Lottery

Yes

Charitable Gambling

Yes

Online Gambling in Kentucky

Everything You Need to Start Playing at Online Casinos

Is Online Gambling Legal in Kentucky?

Key Takeaways

  • The law doesn’t ban playing at offshore sites.
  • Many offshore sites accept players from Kentucky.
  • Online sports betting is legal, with multiple sportsbooks operating in the state.
Online Gambling at Poker Rooms Cards Chips and Dealer Icon

It is illegal to run online casinos in Kentucky. As such, there are none that operate in the state. However, the law doesn’t address playing at casinos licensed elsewhere, so residents can still gamble online at offshore sites.

Due to this grey area, there is no risk of prosecution for the average player.

In addition, online sports betting is legal as of 2023, and numerous sites now service the Bluegrass State.

Best Kentucky Online Casinos in 2024

We’ve reviewed dozens of gambling sites to find the ones that outshine the rest.

The following are the best online casinos for Kentucky players we reviewed this year. See how they compare.

RANK CASINO BONUS PAYOUT SPEED LICENSED TOTAL GAMES SLOTS OUR RATING CLICK TO PLAY
1 DuckyLuck Casino Logo DuckyLuck Casino BONUS 500% up to $7,500 PAYOUT SPEED 1-5 Days LICENSED Yes TOTAL GAMES 699 SLOTS 600 OUR RATING 4.8 / 5 Play Now
2 Bovada Casino Logo Bovada Casino BONUS 125% up to $3,750 PAYOUT SPEED 1-3 Days LICENSED Yes TOTAL GAMES 549 SLOTS 435 OUR RATING 4.7 / 5 Play Now
3 SlotsandCasino Logo SlotsandCasino BONUS 500% up to $7,500 PAYOUT SPEED 1-2 Days LICENSED Yes TOTAL GAMES 691 SLOTS 594 OUR RATING 4.8 / 5 Play Now
4 BetUS Logo BetUS BONUS 150% up to $3,000 PAYOUT SPEED 1-7 days LICENSED Yes TOTAL GAMES 491 SLOTS 367 OUR RATING 4.5 / 5 Play Now
5 Cafe Casino Logo Cafe Casino BONUS 350% up to $2,500 PAYOUT SPEED 1-3 Days LICENSED Yes TOTAL GAMES 273 SLOTS 176 OUR RATING 4.4 / 5 Play Now

*Last Updated: May, 2024

Top KY Online Casinos by Category

Whether you’re looking for the best slots, table games, or bonuses, there’s a site for you. Let’s take a look at the top three Kentucky online casinos and their main features.

Top KY Gambling Site for Casino Games & Live Dealer

DuckyLuck Casino Logo Featured Image

DuckyLuck is a reliable online casino for table games and live dealers. This site has all the standard fare like blackjack, poker, and roulette, plus a couple of unique titles like Card Clash and Dragon Roulette.

On top of lucrative bonuses and a rewards program, DuckyLuck also has leading live dealer games brought to you by FreshDeck Studios.

You can find blackjack, roulette, and baccarat tables with varying limits and knowledgeable dealers.

Top Features

  • +400 real money games and 95 – 98% payout average
  • Great selection of table games, including less-common titles
  • Rewards program with perks like cashback and payout priority

The Best Kentucky Online Casino for Slots

reddog image logo

Red Dog Casino comes in first place for online slots.

This gambling site has a curated selection of quality games from leading software developers, huge progressive jackpots, and a variety of bonuses with free spins attached.

You can also depend on Red Dog for transparency. Each month, it releases an RTP report that gives the win rate and biggest payout of every slot game.

Top Features

  • +900 real money games and 95 – 98% payout average
  • Amazing catalog of slots, including impressive progressive jackpots
  • Monthly updated RTP report on all games

Best KY Site for Sports Betting

Bovada Casino Logo

Even though there are many options in the market, we still recommend Bovada as a top betting destination.

We love this site because it caters to both sports betting and casino game lovers.

Furthermore, making a deposit is a breeze. They offer traditional options like credit cards and modern choices like cryptocurrencies.

This versatility extends to its betting options, which cover a wide array of sports and events.

Top Features

  • Fast payouts – one of the fastest in the industry
  • Strong bonuses during football season
  • Over 260 casino games, plus live dealer

How We Choose the Best Online Casinos in Kentucky

We do a thorough investigation when selecting the best online casinos for Kentucky residents. Below is how we choose our top picks.

  1. Reputation

    We look for a good reputation by reading numerous reviews from multiple sources. 
  2. Fast & Reliable Payments

    We deposit and withdraw at the casino to get a feel for the process and verify the payments are quick and reliable.
  3. Security & Safety

    We check that a site is licensed and uses SSL encryption to ensure your personal information is secure.
  4. Game Variety

    We look through and play the games to confirm the selection is diverse, and the titles are high-caliber. 
  5. Quality Bonuses

    We put the bonuses under a microscope to see if the terms and conditions are fair and reasonable.

Top Online Casino Games for Real Money in Kentucky

Although Kentucky doesn’t have its own online casinos, those in the Bluegrass state can access just about any gambling game they want at offshore sites. Let’s dive into the options.

Slots Reel Big Icon

Online Slots

The only place you’ll find real money online slots in Kentucky is at offshore sites.

Luckily, these casinos have thousands of slots for Kentucky residents where they can play a massive selection of titles with different themes, exciting features, and lower bet minimums than their land-based counterparts.

Stack of Poker Chips Icon

Online Poker

The internet is the easiest and safest way to access a poker game in Kentucky. 

Many offshore sites offer numerous online poker variations, like Deuces Wild, Texas Hold ‘Em, and Jacks or Better. You can also find a full range of tournaments with incredible prize pools.

big icon blackjack

Online Blackjack

Although blackjack is illegal in Kentucky, you can still play online at offshore sites. You can find titles like Perfect Pairs, Spanish 21, and even single-deck blackjack.

Online blackjack tends to have more favorable rules, lower bet minimums, and more variety.

Live Dealer Casino Icon

Live Dealer Games

Live dealer casinos let you join a live game through HD streaming. You place your bet in real time and watch as the dealer uses real cards or a physical roulette wheel.

Find a huge selection of games with various betting limits, from blackjack and baccarat to roulette and Super 6.

Other Online Casino Games for Kentucky

There are other titles you can play online, like craps, keno, and scratch cards. Check out the other options below.

Kentucky Online Casino Bonuses

Gambling on the internet has certain advantages, like being able to claim promotions. Here are some examples of the types of offers you’ll find.

Welcome Bonuses

Large introductory offers that nearly every online gambling site provides to new players.

Free Spin Offers

Promotional deals that give you a set number of free rounds on specific games.

Reload Deals

Get additional bonus cash when you deposit additional funds or top off your account.

Our Favorite Casino Bonuses at Kentucky Sites

Here are the top two online casino bonuses for Kentuckians.

DuckyLuck Welcome Bonus Banner 500 Percent Up to 2500 Dollars

$7,500 Welcome Bonus

You can get a 500% Up to $7,500 + 150 Free Spins bonus on your first three deposits. On top of that, DuckyLuck gives you 150 free spins.

The max cashout is 10x the deposit amount, and you must clear the 30x rollover requirements.

Just deposit a minimum of $25 to claim it!

RedDog Bonus 8000 banner

$8,000 Welcome Package

Red Dog Casino has a $8,000 Welcome Package.

The max payout you can get with this offer is 30x the bonus and you must meet the 40x rollover requirements before you can cash out.

Just deposit a minimum of $20 and use the bonus code PATIO to claim this offer.

Kentucky Casino Apps

Real Money Mobile Video Poker on Phone and Tablet

Since operating an online casino in Kentucky is illegal, it’s no surprise that there are no casino apps. However, there are multiple mobile online casinos you can enjoy on your mobile device.

Many offshore sites are optimized to work right in your browser, so all you have to do is log in and play.

Another avenue for wagering on the go is sports betting.

Numerous sportsbooks are now up and running in Kentucky, and sites like DraftKings, Bet MGM, and Caesar’s offer apps for download.

Facts About Online Casinos for Kentucky Players

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  • Because of a loophole in the law, Kentucky residents can gamble at offshore sites.
  • Offshore sites are commonly licensed and regulated by foreign governing bodies like Curaçao and Malta.
  • Many offshore sites accept Kentucky players.
  • It’s difficult to find gambling games in Kentucky, where most of them are outlawed, but you can find just about any game on offshore sites.
  • Many offshore sites may not let you use a US bank account to withdraw or deposit. However, crypto is a secure banking method that is widely accepted.

The only legal forms of gambling in Kentucky are horse race betting, sports betting, charitable gaming, and the lottery.

Although it’s one of the most inhibitory states regarding gambling, its laws don’t address playing online at sites licensed elsewhere. 

Below is a summary of these laws and more. It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with them before gambling in Kentucky.

Kentucky GamblingWhat You Need to Know
Land-based casinos in KentuckyLand-based casinos are illegal in Kentucky. There are zero in the state.
Online GamblingOperating an online casino in Kentucky is illegal, but playing at offshore sites isn’t explicitly outlawed.

Kentuckians use this loophole to gamble online.
Sports BettingOnline and land-based sports betting was legalized in 2023. The state now has nine retail sports books and eight online.
State LotteryKentucky has a state lottery that offers a variety of scratch-offs, instant play, and draw games.
Charitable GamblingRaffles, bingo, and pull-tabs are legal when conducted by a licensed charitable organization.
PokerPoker is legal as long as no one profits from hosting and no more than $500 is lost or won in a 24-hour period.

A few private poker clubs exist, but their legality is debated.
Horse & Dog RacingHorse race betting is legal in Kentucky. There are eight race tracks but no off-track betting sites.

Dog racing is illegal.
Fantasy SportsDaily Fantasy Sports are legal in Kentucky, with multiple sites like DraftKings and FanDuel accepting entries from residents.
Social GamblingAt-home games must follow the same laws poker is subject to. The host must not profit, and no one can lose or win more than $500 in a 24-hour period.
Taxes on Gambling WinningsGambling winnings are taxed at a flat 6% rate in Kentucky and 24% at the federal level.

Disclaimer: The information on this page does not, nor does it intend to, constitute legal advice. This page is for learning purposes and may not have the most up-to-date information year-round. Readers should contact their attorney and/or accountant for advice concerning any particular legal matter. Do not take any action without first contacting a lawyer in your state.

Kentucky Gambling Laws: A Deep Dive

Kentucky has historically taken a rigid stance on gambling.

Its law defines gambling as “staking or risking something of value upon the outcome of a contest, game, gaming scheme, or gaming device which is based upon an element of chance” per the Kentucky Revised Statutes Chapter 528.

That seems simple enough, but when you take a closer look, the waters can get a little muddy.

Let’s dive further into Kentucky’s’ gambling laws.

Land-Based Casinos

Kentucky is a conservative state, which is why it’s one of the few where land-based casinos are illegal. That’s not to say there haven’t been creative attempts at bringing gambling games into the Bluegrass State.

Electronic skill games that resemble slot machines flooded bars, gas stations, and restaurants all over Kentucky.

However, due to a combination of prudent beliefs and concern from the horse racing industry about siphoning their revenue, these gambling games were banned on July 1, 2023

Currently, seven of Kentucky’s horse racing tracks are licensed to provide historical horse racing machines, which are also much like slots.

Horse & Dog Tracks

Kentucky is known for horse racing, so it’s no surprise that pari-mutuel horse race betting is one of the only legal forms of gambling in the state.

There are five thoroughbred tracks and three standardbred tracks, including the world-famous Churchhill Downs, that hosts the Kentucky Derby each May.

Like most states, dog racing is illegal in Kentucky.

Bingo, Lottery and Charitable Gambling

Charitable bingo is legal in Kentucky, and there are bingo halls all throughout the state.

Other forms of charitable gaming are also permitted, like raffles, pull-tabs, and game tickets. All organizations that host these games must obtain a license from the Department of Charitable Gaming.

Kentucky has a state lottery that funds college scholarships.

Some of the games included are Instant Play, Keno, Cash Pop, Powerball, and scratch-offs.

Social Gaming at Home

Whether social gaming at home is legal comes down to a law about promoting gambling.

Section 528.030 states, “A person is guilty of promoting gambling in the second degree when he knowingly advances or profits from unlawful gambling activity.”

This action is considered promoting gambling in the second degree and is a class A misdemeanor

You can even get a class D felony for promoting gambling in the first degree, which is when you “receive or accept in any one day bets totaling more than $500.” 

In short, it appears as though if you avoid collecting a rake or a fee on your at-home game and keep your wagers low, you’re in the clear.

Poker Rooms and Clubs

There are no state-licensed poker rooms in Kentucky.

There are a few private clubs that pop up here and there, but they must operate under the strict “promoting gambling” laws mentioned above.

Instead of charging a rake, they earn money through membership fees.

However, even clubs that played by the books, like the Moneymaker Social Club in Paducah, Kentucky, have been forced to pull poker.

Sports Betting

Despite all of Kentucky’s unyielding gambling laws, online and land-based sports betting became legal in March of 2023.

The state’s race tracks are allowed to partner with three online platforms in addition to offering retail sportsbooks. 

As of right now, there are seven retail and eight online sportsbooks in operation.

Casinos in Kentucky

Unfortunately, there are no casinos in Kentucky. However, there are racetracks that offer pari-mutuel betting on horse races and historical horse racing machines that resemble slots.

Take a look at the interactive map below to see all of the locations.

Top Kentucky Race Track List

  • Churchill Downs
  • The Mint Gaming Hall
  • Ellis Park Race Course
  • Kentucky Downs Race Course

Kentucky Race Track Summary

  • Race Tracks: 8
  • Tracks with Historical Horse Racing Machines: 7

Kentucky Gambling vs. Neighboring States

How do the gambling laws of neighboring states compare to Kentucky? Let’s find out.

When we look at the surrounding states, a few things stand out. Kentucky and Tennessee are the only ones that don’t have any land-based casinos.

When it comes to betting online, Tennessee and Indiana explicitly outlaw playing at offshore sites.

All states have legal sports betting, a lottery, and charitable gaming. Tennessee is clearly the harshest on gambling, but Kentucky isn’t far behind.

A Brief History of Kentucky Gambling

Kentucky gambling laws

The history of gambling in Kentucky dates back to 1881 when The General Assembly granted private organizations the ability to hold lotteries for construction projects like roads and schools.

That same year, the law defined pari-mutuel wagering to permit horse race betting in the state.

In 1891, Kentucky created its constitution, which prohibited the lottery and all forms of gambling except pari-mutuel wagering.

Nothing changed for almost a hundred years until 1982 when pari-mutel betting was expanded to include simulcast, intertack, international, and interstate wagering.

Finally, in 1988, Kentucky voted to bring back the lottery, and in 1992, the constitution was amended to permit charitable gaming.

Between 1994 and 2009, multiple attempts at bringing land-based casinos to Kentucky failed.

The only successful step towards casino-style gambling was in 2010, when horse race tracks won the right to provide historical horse racing machines.

Most recently, Kentucky made one of its most significant advances and legalized sports betting. Now, residents can place wagers at retail sportsbooks and online, bringing a massive wave of revenue to the state.

Kentucky Responsible Gambling Initiatives

Responsible gambling initiatives in the Bluegrass State include the Kentucky Council on Problem Gambling organization, where you can learn about gambling addiction and find help.

There is a list of counselors, a hotline, and information about Gambler’s Anonymous meetings.

Here are a few more resources:

Summary: Kentucky’s Gambling Journey

Kentucky’s only forms of legal gambling are horse race betting, charitable gaming, the lottery, and small at-home games. 

Though there have been many endeavors to skirt the law, like private poker clubs and electronic skill games, Kentucky continues to remain conservative on the topic. 

Will land-based casinos ever come to the Bluegrass State? It’s hard to say. With the legalization of sports betting, there may be a chance down the road.

However, with the amount of power the horse racing industry has in Kentucky, future legislation would undoubtedly require their cooperation.

In the meantime, the law doesn’t address playing at offshore sites, so residents can still access their favorite casino games online.

Kentucky Gambling FAQs

If you still have questions about gambling in Kentucky, check out our FAQs below.

Is there any risk of playing at online casinos regulated outside of Kentucky?

Kentucky’s law does not address playing at online casinos regulated outside of the state. For that reason, there is no risk of gambling at offshore sites.

Who regulates online casinos in Kentucky?

Kentucky has no state-regulated online casinos, but offshore sites that accept Kentucky residents are often licensed and regulated by other countries like Malta or Curaçao.

Ashley Grasse

Ashley Grasse Specialist in Casino, Games, and Trends

Ashley Grasse is a technical writer and online casino expert who researches sites and games in detail to provide accurate, unbiased reviews. She's a gambling theory enthusiast, an expert on information accuracy that makes difficult concepts easy to understand, and a lover of the outdoors.

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