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Kentucky Sports Betting: Compare the Best Sportsbooks Available Today

Matthew Brown
Written by: | Fact checked by: Chris Lollis
Last Updated: June 4th, 2024

After months of anticipation, online sports betting is officially live in Kentucky. As of September 28, 2023, Kentucky sports fans can bet on some of the best sports betting apps on the market. This includes DraftKings, FanDuel, Bet365, Caesars, and BetMGM. 

Best Sportsbook: Bet365
Bet365 Sportsbook
5 out of 5
EWB Rating
Bonus Offer:
Bet $5, Get $150
In Bonus Bets
Play Now
Promo Code: 365BV1
KY only. 18+. Please Gamble Responsibly. Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER.
Best Bonus: DraftKings
DraftKings Sportsbook
4.9 out of 5
EWB Rating
Bonus Offer:
Bet $5, Get $150
In Bonus Bets - Instantly
Play Now
On DraftKings Website
KY only. 18+. Please Gamble Responsibly. Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER.
Best for Beginners: FanDuel
FanDuel Sportsbook
4.8 out of 5
EWB Rating
Bonus Offer:
Bet $5, Get $200
In Bonus Bets - If Your Team Wins
Play Now
On FanDuel Website
21+ and present in KY. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER.
Best Customer Support: BetMGM
BetMGM Sportsbook
4.7 out of 5
EWB Rating
Bonus Offer:
$1,500 Bonus Bet Back
If First Bet Loses
Play Now
Promo Code: EWBET1
Terms and conditions apply. 21+ and physically present in KY. Please Gamble Responsibly. Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER. One New Customer Offer Only. Bonus Bets Expire in 7 Days. Terms and conditions apply.
Best Rewards Program: Caesars
4.6 out of 5
EWB Rating
Bonus Offer:
Bet $1,000 on Caesars
Win or Get Your Bet Back
Play Now
Promo Code: BV1000
KY only. 18+. Please Gamble Responsibly. Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER.

Kentucky bettors must be 18+ (21+ some operators) and physically present in KY to place wagers. If you or a loved one is experiencing problems with gambling, call 1-800-GAMBLER or visit the National Council on Problem Gambling www.ncpgambling.org.

Kentucky Sports Betting: Quick Facts

As of 6 a.m. on September 28th, online sports betting is officially legal and live in the state of Kentucky. The start of online betting follows a September 7 launch of retail sports betting in the state. Find the key details for the Kentucky sports betting launch in the table below:

Online Betting✅ Yes
Retail Betting✅ Yes
Online Launch DateSeptember 28, 2023
Retail Launch DateSeptember 7, 2023
LegislationHB 551
Legal Betting Age18+ (21+ at select operators)
Number of Retail SportsbooksUp to 9 locations
Number of Mobile SportsbooksUp to 27 skins available

Is Sports Betting Legal in Kentucky?

Yes, sports betting is finally legal in Kentucky. The land of bluegrass, bourbon, and horse racing, has finally embraced the world of sports betting! It's a move that many have been eagerly anticipating, especially with the passion for sports running deep in the heart of the Bluegrass State.

The journey started when Rep. Michael Meredith introduced House Bill 551, sparking a whirlwind of debates and discussions. But as they say, good things come to those who wait. The bill was passed by both the House and Senate, and on March 31, 2023, Governor Andy Beshear officially signed it into law, allowing both online and retail wagering in Kentucky.

Retail sportsbooks were allowed to open their doors on September 7, 2023, just in time for the first NFL game of the 2023 season. Online sports betting followed suit on September 28, 2023, with eight online sportsbooks getting the green light to launch.


Kentucky Online Sportsbooks

The process to acquire a Kentucky sports betting license is relatively straightforward. Sportsbooks need to partner with an in-state race track and pay the initial licensing fee of $50,000.

There were a total of 8 online sportsbooks approved to launch on opening day. This list includes some of the biggest brands in the sports betting industry, including FanDuel and DraftKings.

Caesars Sportsbook

If you are looking for low juice and great player rewards, Caesars may be the sportsbook for you. Caesars applied for a Kentucky sports betting license through a deal with the Keeneland race course and launched in the state on September 28, 2023.

BetMGM Sportsbook

With great welcome offers, daily odds boosts, and player rewards, BetMGM is arguably the most player-friendly sportsbook in the industry. BetMGM gained access to the Kentucky market through a partnership with Sandy's Racing and Gaming and officially launched on September 28, 2023.

FanDuel Sportsbook

The top-rated mobile sportsbook in the US, FanDuel offers a great user interface, same game parlays, and industry-leading live betting options. FanDuel partnered with Churchill Downs to gain access to the KY betting market and launched on September 28, 2023.

DraftKings Sportsbook

The top downloaded app in the industry, DraftKings Sportsbook is known for having the best bonus offers in the industry. DraftKings partnered with Cumberland Run and was one of the first betting apps to launch in the state on September 28, 2023.

Bet365 Sportsbook

An emerging player in the U.S. sports betting industry, Bet365 was one of the first sportsbooks to be approved to offer sports betting in Kentucky. Bet365 partnered with Sandy's Gaming and Racing and its app went live in the state on September 28, 2023.

ESPN Bet

Barstool Sportsbook transitioned to ESPN Bet in Kentucky. The sports media giant partnered with Penn National Gaming to buy Barstool Sportsbook, which was a mega-deal in the sports betting world.

Fanatics Sportsbook

Fanatics Sportsbook is one of the newest names in the U.S. sports betting industry, and Kentucky will be the first state where Fanatics launches on opening day.

Circa Sportsbook

Circa Sportsbook is one of the oldest and most trusted names in sports betting. While the casino is extremely popular in Las Vegas, the online sportsbook has yet to find its footing here in the U.S. Circa acquired its Kentucky license through a partnership with Cumberland Run. The Circa Sportsbook Kentucky launch occurred on April 1, 2024

It is worth noting how strong this group of sportsbooks is. DraftKings and FanDuel are the unquestioned industry leaders, while BetMGM, Caesars, and Bet365 are arguably the top alternatives. So, whether you're a Wildcat at heart or a Cardinals fan, prepare yourself for an exciting new chapter in Kentucky sports.


What are the Best Sportsbooks in Kentucky?

We broke the best sportsbooks in Kentucky into five distinct categories. Each category should be helpful in finding the best sportsbooks for you, whether it’s based on bonus offers, ease of use, or the types of betting markets available.

  • Best Overall Sportsbook: Bet365 Kentucky
  • Best Bonus Offer: DraftKings Kentucky
  • Best for Beginners: FanDuel Kentucky
  • Best Customer Support: BetMGM Kentucky
  • Best Rewards Program: Caesars Kentucky
  • Best New Sportsbook: Fanatics Kentucky

So, if you're looking to get in on all the exciting action that legal sports betting is bringing to Kentucky, these five sportsbooks are some of your best bets! And with the launch date officially here, the time to start testing each of these apps is now!

DraftKings Kentucky  

Best Bonus: DraftKings Kentucky

One of the biggest names in the sports betting industry, DraftKings is quickly becoming a favorite among bettors for its user-friendly interface and comprehensive selection of sports and betting markets. With generous bonus offers for new customers, new Kentucky bettors can get up to $150 in bonus bets at DraftKings.

We chose DraftKings as Kentucky's best bonus for its convenient design and expansive selection of betting markets. Whether you’re looking to bet on your favorite college team or putting money on the big game, DraftKings has more betting options than any other sportsbook.

Bet365 Kentucky  

Best Overall Sportsbook: Bet365 Kentucky

If a the best overall sportsbook is what you're after,Bet365 should be at the top of your list. Bet365 consistently offers some of the most generous bonus offers in the industry, and its Kentucky launch offer is no exception.

Kentucky bettors can place a $5 wager at Bet365 to get $150 in bonus bets whether their first wager wins or not. This is not only our top-rated Kentucky promotion but is the best welcome offer from any U.S. sports betting app.

FanDuel Kentucky  

Most User-Friendly for Beginners: FanDuel Kentucky

If you're looking for a sports betting app with a user-friendly design and great betting experience, FanDuel Sportsbook is your best bet. FanDuel offers a streamlined design and plenty of customization options to make sure you can find the perfect layout for you.

Additionally, FanDuel Sportsbook offers great research tools that are integrated directly into the app. There is a reason FanDuel has the highest-rated app in the industry, and we think the reputation will hold true in Kentucky.

BetMGM Kentucky  

Best Customer Support: BetMGM Kentucky

Of course, we all know that variety is the spice of life. When it comes to customer service, you want to be able to choose from a wide selection of communication options. This is where BetMGM Sportsbook shines. The sportsbook offers an impressive array of ways to get ahold of customer service. Folks can utilize live chat, email, or talk to an agent via phone. Kentucky bettors can get a first bet offer worth up to $1,500 when they sign up at BetMGM this June.

Caesars Kentucky  

Best Rewards Program: Caesars Kentucky

Caesars Rewards are by far the best in the industry, and a major reason the online sportsbook has found so much success in the U.S. Earn reward credits for every bet you place and cash those points in for site credit, stays at Caesars Resorts, and more.

In addition to a great rewards program, Caesars is launching in Kentucky with a strong $1,000 bonus offer. This promotion is only available in the Bluegrass State and should attract plenty of new players.

Fanatics Kentucky Best New Sportsbook  

Best New Sportsbook: Fanatics Kentucky

Fanatics Sportsbook is one of the latest sportsbooks to launch in the U.S. and recently acquired PointsBet. The acquisition gave Fanatics access to one of the best betting apps in the industry, and an easy choice for our pick as the best new sportsbook.

In addition to a great mobile app, Fanatics Sportsbook offers a rewards program unlike anything else in the industry. Players earn FanCash rewards for every wager. These rewards can be redeemed for site credit at Fanatics Sportsbook or for free gear on the Fanatics website.


How to Sign Up at an Online Sportsbook in Kentucky

Sports betting is brand new to the state of Kentucky, which means most bettors will be signing up at an online sportsbook for the first time. The process is relatively straightforward at most sportsbooks, however, because sports betting is a regulated industry, there are a few items every player should keep in mind as they register.

Here is a quick rundown on how to get started with the Kentucky sportsbook of your choosing:

  1. Be sure you choose a regulated sportsbook: Before betting in Kentucky, you'll need to find a legal and reputable sportsbook. There are only 8 sportsbooks approved to offer online betting in the state: DraftKings, FanDuel, Bet365, Caesars, BetMGM, Fanatics, Barstool, and Circa.
  2. Understand the registration process: Once you've chosen a sportsbook, it’s time to create an account. Simply fill out the registration form and provide all the necessary information. Kentucky sportsbooks are required to verify your identity and location. This means that you will need to provide a valid government-issued ID when you sign up.
  3. Choose a bonus offer: As a new player, you get access to each sportsbook's best available promotions. However, it is important to opt into the offer of your choosing when you register. The bonus offers featured on this page are exclusive promotions and are considerably better than the default welcome offer at each sportsbook.
  4. Make an initial deposit: Once your account is set up, you'll need to deposit before placing any bets. Most sportsbooks accept credit and debit cards and e-wallets like PayPal and Skrill. It is important to meet any minimum deposit requirements attached to the sportsbook's bonus offer.
  5. Place your first bet: After you've deposited, it's time to start betting. You can browse the various markets and odds available and make your picks before submitting your bet. If you chose a bet-get promotion, such as the Bet365 bet $5 to get $150 offer, it is important you meet the first-wager requirement with your first bet.

And that’s it, you're now ready to start betting in Kentucky. With a few clicks, you can join the millions of people around the world who have experienced the thrill of wagering on their favorite teams and sports.


What are the Eligibility Requirements for Legal Sports Betting in Kentucky?

Before you can place any bets, you must first abide by the regulations set forth by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission. In the Kentucky sports betting legislation it outlines three requirements that must be met in order to legally bet on sports in the state.

  • You must be 18 years of age or older (21+ with some sportsbooks).
  • You need to have a valid, government-issued ID.
  • You must physically be located in the state of Kentucky when placing your bets.

All of the reputable online sportsbooks and even retail sportsbooks will ensure that you meet all of these requirements before allowing you to place a bet. After all, it's their sports betting license on the line and they're not going to risk it for you.


What Types of Bets are Legal in Kentucky?

Fortunately, there's no shortage of bet types to choose from in Kentucky. Per the Kentucky sports betting bill, the state allows for all the most popular sports bets including point spread, moneyline, parlay, and props as well as more complex wagers such as futures and live betting. All of the major sports betting apps allow for these types of bets.

Moneyline Bet

This is the most straightforward kind of sports bet where you simply pick the team or player you think will win a game or match. The odds are set based on each team's or player's likelihood of winning.

Point Spread Bet

Also known as a line or spread, this type of bet involves a favorite and an underdog. The favorite needs to win by more than a certain number of points (the spread), while the underdog has to lose by less than the spread or win outright.

Over/Under Bet (Totals)

In this type of bet, you're wagering on the combined score of both teams in a game. You bet on whether the total will be over or under a specified number set by the bookmaker.

Parlay Bet

A parlay involves multiple bets (two or more) combined into one. This increases the potential payout but also the risk, as all parts of the bet must win for the parlay to pay out.

Prop Bet

These are bets on specific events happening during a game that doesn't necessarily relate to the final outcome. For example, betting on which team will score first, or how many yards a player will run.

Futures Bet

As the name suggests, these are bets placed on events that will happen in the future, like who will win the Super Bowl next year, or who will be the next MVP.

Teaser Bet

Similar to parlays, teasers allow you to combine multiple bets into one. However, teasers let you adjust the point spread or totals line in your favor in exchange for a lower potential payout.

Round Robin Bet

This is a more complex form of a parlay that creates a series of smaller parlays from a list of selections. It offers a little more security than a traditional parlay as not all selections need to win.

Live Betting (In-Play Betting)

This type of betting allows you to place bets after a game or match has already started. The odds change dynamically based on the action.

Sports Available at Kentucky Sportsbooks  

What Sports You Can Bet on in Kentucky?

When Kentucky decided to legalize sports betting, it opened up an entire world of sports markets. All of the major sports are legal for betting in Kentucky, including every major profession and college sport. Here are just some of the dozens of sports Kentucky bettors will be able to wager on when betting goes live this September:

NFL

The NFL is arguably the most popular sport to bet on in America. It boasts a huge fan base and an action-packed season. Bettors love the strategic nature of football, the dramatic swings in momentum, and the thrill of last-minute touchdowns. The Super Bowl, the NFL's championship game, is the most bet on single event every year.

NBA

Basketball, particularly the NBA, is hugely popular with bettors due to its fast-paced nature and high-scoring games. The NBA's long season (82 regular-season games per team) provides many betting opportunities. Additionally, the NBA playoffs are a time of intense betting activity. Prop bets are particularly popular with NBA games.

MLB

Baseball betting offers something unique to bettors: a massive amount of data to analyze. Baseball is a stat-heavy game, providing ample opportunity for those who love to dig into the numbers. Plus, with 162 regular-season games played by each team, there are plenty of chances to place bets. The Kentucky sports betting launch is just in time for the MLB playoffs.

NHL

Hockey might not be as popular as the other major sports, but it still has a dedicated betting community. The NHL's high intensity and fast pace make it exciting to watch and bet on. The Stanley Cup playoffs, in particular, draw a lot of betting interest.

MLS

Soccer is the world's most popular sport and its popularity is growing in the U.S. With a growing number of teams and an expanding fan base, MLS betting is on the rise. The low-scoring nature of soccer can make it a thrilling challenge for bettors.

PGA Tour

Golf might seem slow compared to other sports, but it's a favorite among many bettors. The PGA Tour offers tournaments almost every week, providing plenty of betting opportunities. Golf betting can be particularly exciting because of its unpredictability - a dark horse can surge ahead at any time.

NASCAR

Auto racing, especially NASCAR, draws a lot of betting interest. The high-speed, high-risk nature of the sport makes it exciting to watch and bet on. Individual races, as well as season-long competitions, offer a variety of betting options.

UFC

MMA, and specifically, the UFC, has seen a surge in popularity in recent years. The high-stakes, unpredictable nature of fights makes UFC betting incredibly exciting. Plus, with events happening globally and throughout the year, there are always betting opportunities.

Horse Racing

Home to some of the most famous horse racing tracks (ahem, Kentucky Derby), Kentucky is no stranger to this sport. Horse racing betting often involves more strategy than other sports, as there are many variables to consider. With so many different races throughout the year, Kentucky horse racing bettors can always find an event to wager on.

Kentucky College Sports Betting  

College Sports Betting in Kentucky

With the online sports betting launch in Kentucky, sports bettors will be delighted to know that they can bet on all college sports. This includes both in-state and out of state schools on countless college sports.

University of Kentucky Wildcats

The University of Kentucky Wildcats are a dominant force in college sports, particularly in basketball. The Wildcats' men's basketball team is one of the most successful in NCAA history, boasting multiple national championships and a plethora of NCAA tournament appearances. This rich history and consistent high-level performance make Kentucky games a popular choice for sports bettors. The unpredictability of college basketball coupled with the Wildcats' winning tradition creates an exciting betting environment.

University of Louisville Cardinals

The University of Louisville Cardinals are another powerhouse in Kentucky college sports, especially in basketball and football. The Cardinals' basketball team has also won multiple national championships, while their football team regularly competes in top-tier bowl games. As with the Wildcats, the Cardinals' strong track record and the volatile nature of college sports make them a hot ticket for sports bettors.

Western Kentucky Hilltoppers

The Western Kentucky Hilltoppers may not have the same national recognition as the Wildcats or the Cardinals, but they're a strong team in their own right. The Hilltoppers' basketball team has made numerous NCAA tournament appearances, while their football team has competed in several bowl games. The Hilltoppers' underdog status can make for some intriguing betting opportunities.

Murray State Racers

Murray State University's Racers have a solid basketball program that has consistently performed well in the NCAA tournament. Although they're often overshadowed by the Wildcats and the Cardinals, the Racers' games can offer some potentially lucrative bets, especially during March Madness.

Morehead State Eagles and Eastern Kentucky Colonels

Morehead State University and Eastern Kentucky University are smaller programs compared to the others on this list, but they still attract attention from sports bettors. Both schools have competitive football teams that play in the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision. Betting on these games can provide a nice change of pace from the high-stakes action of Power Five conference games.


Frequently Asked Questions

Any time a state legalizes sports betting, our inbox gets flooded with questions from new players who are betting for the first time ever. With that, we have put together a comprehensive list of frequently asked questions that are geared to address the majority of concerns new Kentucky bettors will have.

Is sports betting legal in Kentucky?

Yes, sports betting is officially legal in Kentucky. Retail sports betting officially began on September 7, 2023 and online betting began on September 28, 2023.

How old do I need to be to bet on sports in Kentucky?

You must be at least 18 years of age to place a wager in Kentucky. However, several Kentucky sportsbooks have elected to set the minimum age to 21. This includes FanDuel, Caesars, and BetMGM.

Do I need to be physically located in Kentucky to bet?

Yes. All bettors must be physically located within the state of Kentucky when placing bets online. Kentucky sportsbooks are required to verify your location every time you log into the betting app or website.

What sports can I bet on in Kentucky?

Kentucky bettors can wager on a wide variety of professional and college sports, including football, basketball, baseball, hockey, soccer, golf and more.

Can I bet on esports in Kentucky?

Yes, betting on esports is allowed under the Kentucky sports betting law. The majority of sportsbooks in the state offer odds for popular games like League of Legends, Overwatch and Counterstrike: Global Offensive.

How does the sportsbook know my location?

Online sportsbooks access your location through geofencing technology. This is a requirement sportsbooks must abide by in order to operate in the state. It is important to remember that, even if you live in Kentucky, you will not be able to bet when traveling outside of state lines.

Is betting on college sports legal in Kentucky?

Yes, Kentucky bettors can legally bet on college sports. This includes college football, basketball, and any other sport offered by an institution of higher learning. The law also allows bettors to wager on in-state colleges and games being played within Kentucky state lines.

Are there any taxes on sports betting winnings in Kentucky?

Yes, all winnings obtained through sports betting are subject to both state and federal taxes. In Kentucky, the tax rates differ based on the type of sportsbook: 9.75% for retail sportsbooks and 14.25% for online sportsbooks.

Kentucky bettors must be 18+ (21+ Caesars) and present to place wagers in the state. If you or a loved one is experiencing problems with gambling, call 1-800-GAMBLER or visit the National Council on Problem Gambling www.ncpgambling.org

Matthew Brown

Matthew Brown is an avid researcher and iGaming expert. He joined the EatWatchBet team in 2021 as a Senior Editor. His primary areas of focus include industry news, legislative changes, and sportsbook reviews. Matt is an avid sports fan and lifelong fan of the Packers and Tigers.

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