Kentucky Sports Betting Updates on Latest Launch

Kentucky Legal Sports Betting Overview

KY Sports Betting Law Details – Status

📆 Retail Sports Betting Launch Date: N/A
📆 Online Sports Betting Launch Date: N/A
✅ Licensed Sportsbooks: N/A
💵 Legal Wagering Options: N/A
🔞 Legal Gambling Age in KY: 18+
🏈 Sports to Bet On: N/A
🏦 Permitted Banking Options: N/A
⚖️ Kentucky Gambling Regulator: N/A

Kentucky sports betting is yet to make its debut, as both retail and online sportsbooks are currently illegal in the state. However, there is an optimistic outlook shared by KY lawmakers and sports enthusiasts that betting will be legalized in the near future. Representative Adam Koenig has been consistently advocating for sports betting legalization, presenting a bill annually since 2019. The most recent effort, HB 606, managed to pass the House but failed to make progress in the Senate in April 2022. Despite this setback, with Governor Andy Beshear voicing strong support for sports betting and Senate Majority Leader Damon Thayer remaining hopeful, there is a possibility of sports betting legislation passing in 2023. The latest bill proposed legalizing retail sports betting at the existing horse tracks in the state, excluding the Kentucky Speedway as a potential sportsbook location. It is anticipated that once online sports betting becomes legal in Kentucky, it will likely not require in-person registration, as the requirement was removed from HB 606. In this comprehensive guide to Kentucky sports betting, we will explore the latest legislation updates, explore legal wagering options in KY, and provide projections for the launch of legal sports betting in the Bluegrass State.

Kentucky Online Sportsbooks Summary

Online sports betting is currently not legal in Kentucky, but there is significant support for its legalization within the state. Governor Beshear has consistently expressed his backing for sports betting, and lawmakers like Representative Koenig have committed themselves to passing legislation for several years. The bill that came the closest to success was HB 606, which passed the House in March 2022. These developments have fueled optimism that Kentucky will soon join other states where sports betting is legal. Presently, online horse racing bets can be placed in Kentucky through platforms such as Caesars Racebook, TVG, and TwinSpires. Additionally, there are five physical locations across the state where pari-mutuel wagers can be placed. Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) gaming options are also available, with popular operators like ESPN, Boom, Yahoo!, FantasyDraft, DraftKings, and FanDuel offering their services. Among Kentucky’s neighboring states, five have already legalized online sports betting: Illinois, Indiana, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. Bettors can travel to these states and legally place wagers within their borders using sportsbook apps like BetMGM, Caesars, and PointsBet. Illinois, Indiana, and West Virginia also have retail sportsbooks for in-person betting. Ohio, another neighboring state, is expected to launch legal sports betting by January 1, 2023. It’s important to note that residents don’t need to be residents of these states to legally place bets. As long as they are of legal gambling age and physically present within state borders, they can create an account and start betting within minutes.

How to Place a Bet in Kentucky

While online sports betting is currently illegal in Kentucky, bettors can still engage in online horse racing wagering. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to place your first legal bet on horse racing:
1. Research the horse races you want to bet on, considering factors such as the horse’s form, weather conditions, and expert tips.
2. Choose a reputable online horse racing betting site like Caesars Racebook, TVG, or TwinSpires.
3. Visit the selected site and register for an account, providing necessary personal information like name, address, date of birth, and partially SSN.
4. Access the cashier section of the site and select a preferred payment method for making deposits.
5. Determine the amount you want to deposit, ensuring it meets any requirements to qualify for welcome bonuses, if applicable.
6. Explore the horse racing markets offered on the site and add your preferred selection(s) to your betting slip.
7. Set your stake and place the wager.
8. If your bet wins, follow the instructions provided in the cashier section to withdraw your winnings.

Banking Methods Available in Kentucky

There are various payment methods available for online horse racing betting in Kentucky, with Visa or Mastercard being the most popular options. E-wallets like PayPal and bank wire transfers are also commonly accepted. Online bank transfers are another viable option, and some sites facilitate deposits through PayNearMe cards, which can be topped up at retailers such as CVS and Walgreens. Once sports betting is legalized in Kentucky, it is expected that many of these payment methods will be available at online sportsbooks too. Prepaid cards like Play+ can also be utilized, as they are often partnered with reputable operators like BetMGM and Caesars.

Who is Eligible to Bet in KY?

The specific rules governing sports betting eligibility in Kentucky will be determined once the activity becomes legalized. However, they are likely to align with regulations for horse racing betting, which require bettors to be at least 18 years old. In order to utilize online sportsbooks in KY, individuals will need to activate geolocation services on their devices to confirm their location within state boundaries. Moreover, the following individuals are prohibited from betting on sports:
– Athletes, coaches, or members of any professional sports or college teams
– Individuals with stakes in sports teams
– Employees of sports leagues that establish sports rules (e.g., NFL, NCAA)
– Individuals with the authority to influence players professionally
– Referees for professional and college sports leagues
– Individuals with access to non-public information about a sports team, including player medical records
– Individuals who have voluntarily excluded themselves from gambling activities
– Individuals prohibited from betting on a state or federal level due to a criminal history

Latest Kentucky Sports Betting Updates

Despite multiple attempts to legalize sports betting in Kentucky, both retail and online sportsbooks remain illegal in the state. The bill that made the most progress was HB 606, which passed the House but ultimately failed to advance in the Senate. Given the momentum gained in 2022, advocates of sports betting are optimistic that 2023 could be the year when it finally becomes legalized in Kentucky.

Here is a timeline of significant events related to sports betting in Kentucky:
– April 15, 2022: HB 606 fails to pass the Senate due to a lack of voting, ultimately leading to the demise of the bill at the end of the legislative session.
– March 18, 2022: HB 606 passes the House with a 58-30 vote, marking the first successful passage of a sports betting bill in the House after four years of attempts.
– February 28, 2022: Rep. Koenig introduces HB 606, his fourth attempt to legalize sports betting in Kentucky, to the House. This bill removes clauses relating to Kentucky Speedway offering sports betting and the requirement for in-person registration.
– April 1, 2021: Governor Beshear releases “Governor Andy Beshear: First Year Reflections,” a program in which he criticizes the failure to legalize sports betting and the resulting missed revenue opportunities.
– February 23, 2021: Rep. Al Gentry presents HB 594 to the House, but the bill doesn’t pass and is referred to the Committee on Committees.
– February 22, 2021: Rep. Gentry introduces HB 531, a bill to legalize sports betting, to the House. However, the bill is referred to the Committee on Committees and does not proceed further.
– January 9, 2021: Rep. Koenig introduces HB 241, a bill to legalize sports betting, to the House. Unfortunately, this bill also fails to gain support and is referred to the Committee on Committees.
– April 15, 2020: HB 137 fails to pass the House, marking the end of the legislative session.
– January 16, 2020: HB 137 passes the committee, but Sen. Koenig amends the legislation, removing the ban on in-state college sports betting.
– January 14, 2020: Governor Beshear supports sports betting in Kentucky, publicly declaring his support for the sports betting bill introduced by Rep. Koenig.
– January 7, 2020: HB 137, a bill to legalize sports betting, is introduced to the House and referred to the Licensing, Occupations, and Admin Regulations Committee.
– April 15, 2019: HB 175 fails to receive the required 60% of votes needed for passage in a non-budget year, concluding the legislative session.
– April 2, 2019: Rep. Koenig introduces HB 175, a bill to legalize sports betting, Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS), and online poker, to the House.
– June 18, 2018: A panel of nine lawmakers is formed to explore the possibility of legalizing sports betting in Kentucky.
– May 14, 2018: The US Supreme Court overturns the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA), granting individual states the power to legalize sports betting.
– September 20, 2017: Sen. Julian Carroll introduces BR 155 to the Senate, aiming to legalize sports betting. However, the bill does not garner significant support.

Although sports betting remains illegal in Kentucky, discussions and efforts to legalize it have been ongoing. Sen. Carroll previously introduced BR 155 in 2017 to grant the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission regulatory authority over the sports betting industry, but the bill did not gain significant traction. Following the overturning of PASPA, a panel of nine lawmakers was formed to investigate the feasibility of legalizing sports betting in Kentucky. Notably, Rep. Koenig has been a driving force behind sports betting legalization, introducing bills consistently from 2019 to 2022. Governor Beshear has also voiced strong support, stating that Kentucky should have legalized sports betting years ago. With these factors in mind, there is optimism that sports betting may finally be legalized in Kentucky in 2023. Major sportsbooks such as Caesars, DraftKings, and FanDuel are expected to enter the market once wagering is legalized. Caesars has already launched an online racebook in Kentucky, indicating their intent to offer sports betting services in the state.

Kentucky Sports Betting Locations

Kentucky is home to 11 land-based casinos; however, none of them currently offer retail sports betting services. While previous sports betting bills have included provisions for legalizing retail sports betting, they have not mentioned land-based casinos as potential locations. In the most advanced sports betting bill, HB 606, only the state’s four horse racing tracks were considered as potential sportsbook sites. Therefore, the launch of sportsbooks at casinos is unlikely without significant changes to future bills. For individuals seeking legal retail sports betting, neighboring states such as Illinois, Indiana, and West Virginia offer viable options. Residents can also travel to Tennessee and Virginia to place online wagers. The Kentucky Lottery launched in 1989 and is overseen by the Kentucky Lottery Commission, which has been proposed as a potential regulatory body for sports betting in the future. However, there are currently no plans for lottery retailers to offer sports betting services. Since 1906, pari-mutuel betting has been legal in Kentucky, with the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission responsible for overseeing it. There are four racetracks in Kentucky, including Churchill Downs, which hosts the renowned Kentucky Derby each year. Pari-mutuel wagers can be placed at all four racetracks, and there is also one off-track betting (OTB) location. Turfway Park, acquired by Churchill Downs Incorporated, is expected to open a pari-mutuel betting facility in September 2022.

Location Address Phone Number
Churchill Downs 700 Central Avenue, Louisville, KY 40208 (502) 636-4400
Ellis Park 3300 U.S. Highway 41 N., Henderson, KY 42420 (812) 425-1456
The Mint Gaming Hall at Bowling Green 2475 Scottsville Road, Suite 101 & 102, Bowling Green, KY 42104 (270) 353-6400
The Mint Gaming Hall at Kentucky Downs 5629 Nashville Road, Franklin, KY 42134 (270) 586-7778
Winners’ Club at The Red Mile 1200 Red Mile Road, Lexington, KY 40504 (859) 255-0752

Kentucky Responsible Gambling Resources

For individuals facing problem gambling, Kentucky provides resources to assist them:
– National Council on Problem Gambling Kentucky – Offers access to local problem gambling support resources, as well as national hotlines and live chat services. Contact number: (800) 522-4700
– Kentucky Council on Problem Gambling – Provides resources for understanding gambling addiction and offers support and guidance on treatment options. Contact number: (800) 426-2537
– Gamblers Anonymous – Organizes anonymous meetings across Kentucky where individuals struggling with problem gambling can share their experiences. The organization also offers a treatment program. Contact number: (855) 222-5542

Given the importance of responsible gambling, it is expected that Kentucky sportsbooks will meet strict standards, including offering account tools like deposit limits and access to helpful resources.

Teams to Bet on in Kentucky

While Kentucky does not have any major league professional sports teams, the state hosts prestigious sporting events. The renowned Kentucky Derby, the most famous horse race in the US, takes place annually at Churchill Downs. Additionally, the Kentucky Speedway previously hosted NASCAR events from 2012 to 2020, and the IndyCar Indy 300 in the past. Although Kentucky lacks major league franchises, sports fans in the state often support teams from neighboring states, including the Chicago Bears (NFL), Indianapolis Colts (NFL), Nashville Predators (NHL), and Memphis Grizzlies (NBA). Baseball fans can rally behind the Louisville Bats, a Triple-A affiliate of the MLB’s Cincinnati Reds, and the Bowling Green Hot Rods, a High-A affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays, provides another option for baseball enthusiasts. In the college sports realm, notable teams include the Bellarmine Knights, Eastern Kentucky Colonels, Kentucky Wildcats, Louisville Cardinals, Morehead State Eagles, Murray State Racers, Northern Kentucky Norse, and Western Kentucky Hilltoppers, which offer a range of athletic programs across various divisions. Racing Louisville FC, a National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) team, represents the state in professional women’s soccer.

How Does Kentucky Compare to Other States?

Market Coverage: Once sports betting is legalized in Kentucky, major US operators like BetMGM, Caesars, DraftKings, FanDuel, and PointsBet are expected to enter the market. These sportsbooks will likely offer a wide range of markets, including major leagues such as the NFL and NBA, as well as niche sports like MMA and European soccer. College sports betting may also be available, depending on the regulations implemented.
Competitive Odds & Prices: Top US sportsbooks generally offer the same betting odds across all states to remain competitive. For example, DraftKings provides excellent odds on NASCAR races due to their partnership with the NASCAR team 23XI. Operators prioritize generous odds to compete effectively in states with numerous licensed sportsbooks.
Gambling Revenue: Kentucky is likely missing out on significant revenue by not legalizing sports betting. In 2019, Sen. Koenig estimated that the state was losing an additional $22.5 million in sports betting tax revenue annually. In comparison, Colorado generated $13.4 million in taxes from June 2021 to May 2022. Although the expected tax rate for mobile sportsbook operators in Kentucky (14.25%) is higher than Colorado (10%), it is unlikely to generate the estimated $22.5 million in taxes. However, the strong demand for sports betting in Kentucky is evident, with more than 500,000 individuals attempting to place wagers in the state in March alone, as reported by GeoComply. Legalizing sports betting would allow the state to capitalize on this demand and generate much-needed tax revenue.
Betting Taxes: All bettors in the US are required to pay taxes on their gambling winnings. Sportsbooks may withhold up to 25% from winnings, and if winnings exceed $600, bettors must complete a W-2G form for tax purposes. Kentucky residents are subject to a flat 5% state income tax rate applicable to all individuals in the state. Additionally, sportsbooks must pay a 0.25% excise tax on their monthly betting handle, and each employee involved in wager-taking must pay a $50 fee.
Who Oversees Sports Betting in Kentucky? As sports betting is currently illegal in Kentucky, there is no formal regulatory body overseeing it. The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission regulates pari-mutuel betting, while the potential regulatory authority for sports betting is still under discussion. The chosen regulatory body will be responsible for licensing sportsbooks, ensuring their safety and security, and collecting taxes from them.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is betting legal in Kentucky?

No, sports betting is not yet legal in Kentucky. Efforts to legalize it have been ongoing, but as of now, both retail and online sportsbooks are illegal in the state. There is optimism that it may be legalized in 2023.

Who governs sports betting in Kentucky?

There is no governing body for sports betting in Kentucky since it is currently illegal. However, the Kentucky Lottery Commission has been suggested as a potential regulator in the most recent sports betting bill.

How old do you have to be to bet in Kentucky?

The expected legal age for sports betting in Kentucky is 18, aligning with the existing online horse racing betting industry. The specific age requirements will be determined upon legalization.

When will sports betting launch in Kentucky?

Another attempt to legalize sports betting in Kentucky will likely take place in 2023. If successful, the launch of sports betting could occur in late 2023 or 2024.

Where will I be able to bet on sports in Kentucky?

Once sports betting is legalized in Kentucky, online sports betting will be accessible statewide. Additionally, it is expected that retail sportsbooks will be available at the existing horse racing tracks.

Are sportsbooks in Kentucky safe?

Since there are currently no legal sportsbooks in Kentucky, any betting site offering wagering in the state is considered unsafe. It is essential to use licensed and regulated operators for a secure betting experience.

Would I have to pay taxes on betting winnings in Kentucky?

Yes, all gambling winnings, including betting winnings, need to be declared to the IRS. If you win more than $600, you must complete a W-2G form. Additionally, your betting winnings should be included when paying your state income tax at a flat rate of 5% in Kentucky.

Can you play DraftKings in Kentucky?

No, DraftKings sportsbook is not available in Kentucky due to the current illegality of sports betting in the state. However, you can still play DraftKings’ Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) games in Kentucky.

Can you play FanDuel in Kentucky?

While you can’t legally use FanDuel’s sportsbook in Kentucky, you can still participate in their Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) games. Alternatively, you can travel to neighboring states like Illinois, Indiana, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia to access the sportsbook legally.

Can you play BetMGM in Kentucky?

No, BetMGM is not legal for betting in Kentucky. However, if you cross the border to Illinois, Indiana, Tennessee, Virginia, or West Virginia, you can use BetMGM’s sportsbook there.

Can you play Caesars in Kentucky?

Caesars sportsbook is not available for use in Kentucky. However, they have launched a racebook in the state, allowing bettors to wager on horse racing online.

Can you play TwinSpires in Kentucky?

TwinSpires sportsbook is not accessible in Kentucky. However, while TwinSpires sportsbook is shutting down, you can still use its online racebook for wagering on horse racing in the state.

Which sportsbooks will be available in Kentucky in the future?

Once sports betting is legalized in Kentucky, major US operators like Caesars, DraftKings, and FanDuel are expected to launch their online sportsbooks in the state.

Doug I. Jones

Doug I. Jones

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