Best Kentucky sports betting apps 2023

Kentucky sports betting is now live. Sign up with the top Kentucky sportsbooks below. You must be 18 or older to bet online in Kentucky, but some sports betting sites require users to be 21 or older. 

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Is sports betting legal in Kentucky?

Yes, Kentucky sports betting is legal both online and at in-person locations. Retail sports betting launched in Kentucky on Sept. 7, 2023, followed by mobile betting on Sept. 28. 

What’s happening in Kentucky sports betting right now

Kentucky sports betting snapshot

Is sports betting legal in Kentucky?Yes. Legislation passed in March 2023, and online betting launched on Sept. 28.
What legal sports betting sites are live in Kentucky?DraftKings, FanDuel, bet365, Barstool, BetMGM, Fanatics and Caesars are now live in Kentucky. Circa plans to launch later in the year, and ESPN Bet will take over Barstool’s spot in the coming months.
What sports are legal to bet on in Kentucky?Bettors are able to wager on pro leagues as well as collegiate sports. High school sports are banned from betting.
Who can bet on sports in Kentucky?Anyone older than 18 and inside state lines is able to bet. However, some sports betting sites will require users to be 21 or older.

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Comparing the top sports betting sites in Kentucky

With up to three online skins allowed for each of Kentucky’s nine horse racing tracks, there could one day be as many as 27 sports betting apps in the state. For now, eight sports betting sites have been approved for licenses, and seven are live. Circa, the eighth sportsbook, has plans to launch later this year.

Here is a breakdown of top legal Kentucky sportsbook apps and the best sports betting promotions from each:

1. BetMGM Kentucky

One of the top options for sports bettors across the country, BetMGM Sportsbook has a launch-day offer now available to Kentucky bettors. BetMGM is linked with Sandy’s Gaming and Racing as its land-based retail partner in the state, and combines a well-known brand with an intuitive app that provides bettors with competitive odds and some unique features. The Edit My Bet function adds a level of flexibility for bettors.

2. Bet365 Kentucky

Bet365 Sportsbook has partnered with Sandy’s Gaming and Racing in Kentucky, and is now offering a welcome bonus for new users. Already a well-known brand worldwide, bet365 is quickly popping up across the country, and making a name for itself with a user-friendly app, deep menu of available betting markets and competitive odds. Though easy to use, the app can be buggy at times when navigating between sections.

3. FanDuel Kentucky

One of the top sports betting sites on the market today, FanDuel Sportsbook is offering Kentucky bettors up to $200 in bonus bets on launch day. FanDuel is known for its intuitive app that works well for both beginner and veteran bettors. With some of the most competitive odds around, FanDuel is a top choice for many bettors with the same-game parlay feature being particularly popular. FanDuel figures to have a large presence in Kentucky having already partnered with two of Churchill Downs’ racetracks.

4. Caesars Kentucky

Already a recognizable hotel/casino brand, Caesars Sportsbook offers one of the best apps in the country headlined by the popular Caesars Rewards program. The sports betting app itself lacks a bit of the flash possessed by some competitors, but the operator makes up for it by offering plenty of promotions and bonuses for bettors. Caesars has a promotion for Kentucky bettors available now with code LSRGET.

5. DraftKings Kentucky

Already known to Kentuckians for its daily fantasy offerings, DraftKings Sportsbook is one of the top sports betting apps in the country. Bettors in Kentucky can sign up now for DraftKings and take advantage of the operator’s generous promo. As far as the app itself, DraftKings’ pools feature allows bettors to compete in tournament-like events with friends, and its live-betting offerings are among the best in class. DraftKings is partnered with Cumberland Run racing track in Kentucky and should be a staple in the state’s sports betting industry. 

How to get started with the best Kentucky sportsbook bonuses

No matter which legal Kentucky sportsbook app you ultimately choose, the process of getting started will be pretty much the same, and should be quick and easy. Here’s what to do:

Types of bonuses and promotions

Although offers change often, they usually fall into one of the categories listed below. It’s also helpful to know what the different offers mean, and how they work.

Here are some of the most common offers that you’ll come across:

Full list of Kentucky sports betting sites

Below is a chart showing each of the approved sportsbooks and their retail partners. This list will change as more sports betting sites strike deals in the state. As of September 2023, eight sports betting apps are approved for licenses in Kentucky.

Sports betting siteRacetrack PartnerStatus
Bet365Sandy’s Racing & GamingLive for mobile
BetMGM SportsbookSandy’s Racing & GamingLive for mobile
Caesars SportsbookRed Mile RacingLive for mobile and retail
Circa SportsbookCumberland RunApproved for license
DraftKings SportsbookCumberland RunLive for mobile and retail
Fanatics SportsbookOak Grove Racing, Gaming & HotelLive for mobile
FanDuel SportsbookChurchill DownsLive for mobile
PENN Entertainment (Barstool/ESPN Bet) Ellis Park Racing & GamingLive for mobile

Kentucky sports betting law

Under the new Kentucky sports betting law, the market had to go live within six months of the legislation’s effective date. With the effective date set to June 28, the state had until December 28 to get the industry off the ground. Regulators later announced launch dates of Sept. 7, 2023, for retail betting and Sept. 28 for online sports betting.

Sports betting bill HB 551 passed in the Kentucky Senate by a 25-12 vote on the last day of the legislative session, effectively legalizing sports betting in the state. Gov. Beshear signed the bill fewer than 24 hours after passage.

Below are a few of the key features of the bill:

Latest Kentucky sports betting news

College basketball is king in Kentucky with two prestigious programs in the University of Louisville and the University of Kentucky.

Original versions of Kentucky sports betting bills prohibited betting on in-state college teams, but that clause was removed from the final bill after hearing complaints from legislators with the common sense not to outlaw what could be the most popular bets made in the state.

There are no major professional sports teams in Kentucky, but there are plenty of sports fans who cheer for teams in neighboring states. Here are some of the most popular pro teams in Kentucky:

NFL: Cincinnati Bengals, Tennessee Titans, Indianapolis Colts

MLB: Cincinnati Reds, St. Louis Cardinals

NBA: Indiana Pacers

NHL: Nashville Predators, St. Louis Blues

Other legal sports betting options in Kentucky

There are illegal offshore websites that offer sports betting in Kentucky. However, those sites do not hold a license from any US jurisdiction to legally accept bets from residents.

Without regulation from the state, these offshore betting apps can’t be counted on to pay out winnings and have been known to disappear with people’s money. The only safe and protected way to bet on sports in the United States is to do so with a licensed operator.

Until online sports betting becomes available in Kentucky, the state’s legal gambling footprint consists of in-person betting at licensed facilities, horse betting, the lottery, historical horse racing, and charitable gaming.

Retail sports betting locations in Kentucky

Below is a list of the brick-and-mortar locations offering in-person sports betting in Kentucky as of Sept. 7, 2023. We will continue to update this list as more betting facilities are expected to open across the state, including some that have already partnered with sports betting operators (Sandy’s Gaming and Racing).

Coming soon: Sandy’s Gaming and Racing in Ashland, Ellis Park in Owensboro, and Derby City Gaming Downtown in Louisville. These three locations are scheduled to open soon.

Kentucky and daily fantasy sports

Major daily fantasy sports sites such as DraftKingsFanDuelYahoo! and Fantasy Draft operate in an unregulated environment in Kentucky.

The new Kentucky sports betting bill did not include legislation to regulate DFS in the state. At this time, DFS exists in a gray area in Kentucky.

Horse racing in Kentucky

No state has a deeper connection to horse racing than Kentucky. The Kentucky Derby, likely the country’s most prestigious and famous horse race, takes place each year at Churchill Downs. It has run annually since 1875 with only a few exceptions and serves as the first leg of the thoroughbred Triple Crown.

Legal horse racing has been part of Kentucky since 1805. Although Churchill Downs gets the press, there are several other prominent tracks in the state. One of them, Keeneland, would be the top track in almost any other state, and some experts consider it on par with or even ahead of Churchill Downs, Pimlico, Belmont or any other track in the US.

There are also several other important tracks in the state, including the Red Mile in Lexington, Turfway Park in Florence and Ellis Park in Henderson. In particular, the Red Mile hosts the Kentucky Futurity, which is the first leg of the Triple Crown of harness racing for trotters.

Each track in the state is home to several historical horse racing machines. These devices are the closest analog to slot machines in the state and use the results from past horse races to determine their winners.

Finally, Kentuckians can use their mobile devices and computers to place horse bets online. Top sites like TVG and Kentucky’s own TwinSpires have options for simulcast wagering on races at tracks around the country.

Kentucky sports betting timeline


After being “cautiously optimistic” about his sports betting bill, HB 551, Kentucky Rep. Michael Meredith finally gets his bill over the finish line on the last day of the state’s 2023 legislative session. The new bill passes with a 25-12 vote in the Senate at the end of March, giving the state’s nine horse racing tracks sports betting licenses, with up to three online skins per track. The legislation goes into effect on June 28, 2023 and gives the state six months from that date to launch the industry.

Regulators announce on July 10 that online sports betting is scheduled to launch in Kentucky on Sept. 28, 2023 and retail sports betting will launch Sept. 7, 2023.

In-person sports betting launches on Sept. 7 with Gov. Andy Beshear placing the first bet at Churchill Downs Race & Sports Book in Louisville.

Online sports betting goes live at 6 a.m. on Sept. 28. Eight apps make up the initial wave of licensed sportsbooks in the state.


Rep. Adam Koenig brought a sports betting bill for the fourth-straight year, with a few adjustments. He dropped the Kentucky Speedway and an in-person registration requirement. As in a few past years, the bill cruised through Koenig’s own committee.

For the first time, however, the bill cleared a chamber in Kentucky. As the House passed HB 606 by a vote of 58-30. Senate considers the bill, but it is an uphill battle as Senate Majority Leader Damon Thayer said the support is not quite there.

The Senate allows Rep. Koenig‘s bill to die without a vote on Sine Die. The effort was the furthest a KY sports betting bill has gotten and provides hope for future efforts. Thayer expressed disappointment the bill did not pass, but believes the support will be there in future years.


Gov. Andy Beshear lends his support to the notion of sports betting in Kentucky once again. In January, he speaks on a program titled “Governor Andy Beshear: First Year Reflections” and states that the time to legalize sports betting in the Bluegrass State was years ago, and laments that nearly every (Republican) state around Kentucky is benefitting from Kentuckian sports bettors.

Emboldened by the governor’s statements, several members of the Kentucky House of Representatives bring forth three measures to legalize sports betting. Among the entries is another edition of Rep. Adam Koenig’s legislation, which has become something of a tradition. Unfortunately, none of the three bills makes it past its initial committee submission, and Kentuckians must wait at least another year for sports betting legislation.


Optimism ran high for sports betting in Kentucky after the progress of 2019 and with 2020 being a budget year.

Gov. Andy Beshear made Kentucky the favorite of any state to pass sports betting legislation this year when he came out in his State of the Commonwealth address and said, “Rep. Adam Koenig has filed a sports betting bill. I fully support it, and we should pass it.”

A day later, Koenig moved H 137 through his committee. But first he made two key changes in removing the ban on in-state college betting and adding an 18-month sunset to what was previously an indefinite requirement to set up online wagering accounts in-person.

Koenig was confident that his bill would quickly pass through the House, but that didn’t happen. The legislation languished for a month. Sen. Majority Leader Damon Thayer spoke out that he was in full support of the bill, but that didn’t spark the House to send it over.

Then came the filing of 11 proposed amendments, many of which would have killed the bill with exorbitant fees. Koenig said he didn’t know about the amendments before they were filed.The legislature adjourned April 15 without passing a bill.


Four sports betting bills were introduced, with Koenig’s offering emerging as the favorite and becoming the first sports betting bill in the state to get a successful committee vote.

Koenig’s bill not only attempted to legalize sports betting but also daily fantasy sports and online poker.

However, with then-Gov. Matt Bevin lukewarm on sports betting and the legislature traditionally resistant to gambling expansions, the requirement for revenue bills to get 60% of the votes in non-budget years proved impossible to overcome.


A month after the US Supreme Court overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), Kentucky lawmakers created a panel to study sports betting regulation.

The nine-member panel was given the task to “draft and file legislation to implement legal sports betting in Kentucky.”


In the summer of 2017, Sen. Julian Carroll introduced a sports betting bill that would allow the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission to regulate and oversee a sports gambling industry.

This early bill called for a $250,000 licensing fee and a 20% tax on the total amount of wagers handled.

Kentucky sports betting FAQ

Is Kentucky sports betting legal?

Yes. Kentucky sports betting is legal online and in-person at several locations in the state. In-person sports betting launched in Kentucky on Sept. 7, 2023 and online sports betting followed on Sept. 28.

Where can I bet on sports in Kentucky?

Bettors can place wagers on legal Kentucky sports betting apps from anywhere in the state. Sports betting is also available at retail sportsbooks in Kentucky. There are several sports betting facilities open now throughout the state:

Who oversees sports betting in Kentucky?

The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission oversees sports betting in the state.

Can I bet on Kentucky-based teams in Kentucky?

Yes. Whether you want to bet on Kentucky Wildcats basketball or Louisville Cardinals football, in-state colleges are a part of the approved menu of sporting events in Kentucky. See the entire catalog here.

What is the legal gambling age in Kentucky?

The minimum gambling age is 18. Although it’s not clear or explicit, the reason behind the 18-year-old requirement is likely the dominance of horse racing and wagering in the state, which only requires bettors to be 18. A majority of Kentucky sportsbooks will maintain the more widely used legal age of 21 years old, though.

There are some sports betting websites that say they accept bets from the United States. Are those legal options?

No. There are currently no sportsbook operators that are licensed at the federal level, which means all US sportsbooks are licensed at the state level. Any website that suggests betting from anywhere in the US is allowed is a website that operates offshore. It is not legal for those sites to accept bets from US citizens and those sites offer no protection to those who bet on them.