Table of Contents

Kentucky Sports Betting: Everything You Need to Know

Category: State Launch
Updated: Jun 12, 2024
6 min read


  • Retail sports betting starts September 7th
  • Mobile sports betting starts September 28th
  • Sportsbook operators will be taxed at 9.75% for retail locations and 14.25% for mobile wagers
  • Expected tax revenue is $23 million per year.

Sports Betting in Kentucky

Sports betting is now legal in Kentucky after Gov. Andy Beshear signed Emergency Regulations on Monday, July 10, 2023. The law allows for both retail and mobile (online) sports betting. Sports betting will not start until September 7th for retail (in-person) betting and September 28th for mobile betting. September 7th is the first official day of the NFL season as the Kansas City Chiefs take on the Detroit Lions at Arrowhead Stadium.

Under the new law, sports betting will be regulated by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC). There will be nine retail sportsbooks in the state, one at each of the state's horse racing tracks. These locations will be able to offer in-person wagering on all major sports leagues, as well as college sports.

Kentucky mobile and retail sports betting will be taxed differently. There's currently a premium tax rate of 14.25% for Kentuckians to pay for mobile sports betting, while retail sports betting will only be taxed at 9.75%. Note that these tax rates apply to gross revenue (winnings).

Kentucky Sports Betting Has Found Greener Pastures

Mobile sports betting will also be allowed in Kentucky. Up to 27 mobile sports betting apps will be licensed by the KHRC, and these apps will be able to offer wagering on all major sports leagues.

Mobile sports betting is what makes matched betting possible. Matched betting is a legal technique that mathematically guarantees a profit from promotions offered by sportsbooks. This is possible by hedging your bet and covering all possible outcomes of a sporting event. By betting the proper amounts based on the promotion and available odds you can ensure you profit. DarkHorse Odds finds all the best bets and tells you exactly how much to bet to maximize your profit. (Never used DarkHorse Odds before? Start your 2-day free trial)

According to BetKentucky, confirmed betting partners include Caesars, FanDuel, and DraftKings. Other potential betting partners include BetMGM, Fanatics, Circa, and WynnBet. It has been confirmed that Keeneland and Red Mile Racetracks will partner with Caesars meanwhile Churchill Downs has agreed to a partnership with FanDuel. Keep an eye on these partnerships as there are currently daily developments.

The new law is expected to generate an estimated $23 million in tax revenue for the state of Kentucky. This revenue will be used to fund education, tourism, and other state programs.

Sports betting has been a hotly debated topic in Kentucky for several years. Opponents of sports betting argue that it will lead to an increase in gambling addiction and other social problems. Supporters of sports betting argue that it will generate much-needed state tax revenue and create local Kentucky jobs.

The new law appears to have struck a balance between these two viewpoints. It allows for sports betting, but it also includes safeguards to protect consumers. For example, the law prohibits sports betting for minors and requires sportsbooks to have responsible gambling programs in place.

The legalization of sports betting in Kentucky is a significant development. It is the latest in a wave of states that have legalized sports betting in recent years. With the launch of sports betting in Kentucky, there are now 33 states where it is legal. Many other states are currently passing sports betting legislation or bills are being introduced. (North Carolina should be the next state to legalize sports betting with an expected launch date in January 2024... Both retail and mobile sports betting will be allowed in North Carolina.)

It remains to be seen how popular sports betting will be in Kentucky. However, the new law has created a legal framework for sports betting in the state, and sports betting will likely become a popular form of entertainment for Kentuckians.


Does Matched Betting Work In Kentucky?

Yes, matched betting works anywhere that mobile sports betting is allowed. Matched betting is safe, legal, and profitable!

How Much Money Can I Make From Matched Betting In Kentucky?

The sign-up offers are not listed yet for Kentucky, but based on previous states legalizing sports betting you can reasonably expect over $4,000 just from the sign-up offers.

What Do I Need to Know About Matched Betting Before I Get Started?

Our matched betting guides outline everything you need to know. Before opening an account with sportsbooks and placing a wager, it is recommended to read the Getting Started guides first. You do not want to miss out on an opportunity for the sign-up offers.

How Do I Know How Much to Bet to Convert a Bonus Bet?

Our Bet Finders do all the math for you. You can learn How To Convert Bonus Bets in our guide.

Why is Kentucky legalizing sports betting?

There are two main reasons why Kentucky is legalizing sports betting.

First, every state bordering Kentucky including Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia, and Tennessee has legalized sports betting. (Missouri sports betting legislation passed the state House in 2023, but got struck down in the state Senate.) It's hard for Kentucky lawmakers not to support such legislation when residents are frustrated that their neighbors in other surrounding states can make sports bets, but they cannot.

Second, retail sports betting does not depend on state residency, only that someone is physically present in the state and able to place a sports bet. This means that Kentucky was losing millions of dollars in tax revenue every year to other states. (Louisville is only a 10 minutes drive from Indiana, and Lexington is an hour and a half drive to Ohio.)

Who will oversee sports betting in Kentucky?

The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC)

When will sports betting be legal in Kentucky?

Retail locations will open on the first day of the NFL season, which is Sept. 7, 2023. Mobile applications will be available on Sept. 28, 2023.

What is the legal betting age in Kentucky?

The minimum legal betting age in the state of Kentucky is 18 years old.

Where will bettors be able to place sports wagers?

Bettors can place a wager in-person at a retail location or on a mobile application. A list of facilities eligible to maintain a retail location is available here.

What sports are available for betting in Kentucky?

Kentuckians will be permitted to bet on sporting events approved by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, including professional sports, sanctioned college sports, amateur and international sporting events such as the Olympics and World Cup soccer as well as e-sports.

Amateur youth sports, athletic events in which the majority of participants are under the age of eighteen (18), and horse racing are excluded from the definition of sporting event in House Bill 551.

While politics and entertainment awards shows could be considered their own sports, neither of these will be available for betting.

How many mobile applications will be available?

House Bill 551 permits up to 27 mobile applications to operate within the state, as each of Kentucky’s nine licensed horse racing facilities can apply for up to three mobile applications.

How much money does Kentucky expect in tax revenues from sports betting?

The estimate from the state’s budgeting office is $23 million in tax revenue per year.

How will sports betting revenue be spent in Kentucky?

Revenue from sports betting will support the state’s permanent pension fund, help those with gambling problems, and support the administrative costs of sports betting.


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