Here at ThePicks we set our team the task of reviewing all the offers that were available, and working out how everyone in Kansas can get the most value out of them. As the sportsbooks launch in Kentucky they’re offering some great promotions – and you need to jump on them in the next week to make sure you get all the value.
The Power of Three – $815 of value
Having looks closely, we’re recommending that you sign up for three of the operators as they all offer you something very different:
Draftkings – their promo offer provides you with $200 of Bonus Bets, and you don’t even have to deposit
FanDuel – Offer $100 in Bonus Bets, but also offer you $100 discount on NFL Sunday Ticket
Bet365 – an amazing Bet $1 Get $365 Bonus Bets, a huge amount!
All of these promotions have Terms & Conditions that we’ll go through below, but take ten minutes and make sure you get the best value out of the launch of sports betting in Kentucky.
How We Worked out the $815 of Value
DraftKings – $200 Bonus Bets
New sign-ups for the DraftKings Sportsbook can get a special promotional offer, up to $200 of Bonus Bets just for registering – you don’t even need to deposit any money. All you need do is click on one of the banners and register.
When you sign up you will $200 issued as eight $25 Bonus Bets on the actual launch day, which is expected to be by the end of September.
You can read our full review of the DraftKings promo on this page.
FanDuel – $100 Bonus Bets + $100 Discount
New sign-ups for FanDuel can get a special pre-live offer just by registering today, $100 BONUS BET you register today for FanDuel and on the day they go live you have $100 of free bets in your account! You also get a discount code which provides you with $100 off NFL Sunday Ticket so you can watch all the games!
You can read full details of the FanDuel offer here.
bet365 – Bet $1 Get $365 Bonus Bets
New sign-ups for bet365 can get two amazing promotional offers from bet365. Firstly, if you pre-register today bet365 will give you $10 for every Touchdown scored in the Lions vs Packers game on the 28th September (up to a maximum of $50). It’s that simple, register now and every touchdown scored in the Lions game, you get $10.
But that’s not all – where the promotional bet365 offer in Kentucky really wins is on the day they go live – where you can claim a Bet $1 Get $365 Bonus Bets promotion.
For full details including T&Cs click our special page on the bet365 Kentucky promotion.
Kentucky Sports Betting Timeline
The history of sports betting in Kentucky goes back for centuries…
- 1792: Kentucky enforced strict anti-gambling laws. However, parimutuel betting was legal.
- 1875: Churchill Downs, Woodlawn and Oakland race tracks were opened and the Kentucky Derby was run for the first time.
- 1930: Parimutuel betting started becoming popular and horse racing gained more traction.
- 1988: The Kentucky Lottery was first introduced.
- 2018: PASPA, the federal law against gambling was overturned by the US Supreme Court.
- 2020: A bill delivered by Rep Adam Koenig to legalize sports betting in Kentucky received little opposition. However, when the pandemic hit in March, it was pushed aside.
- 2021: Another effort to push the bill through was again sidelined due to COVID. It is looking to be revisited again in 2022
- 2021 – A second effort to push the bill through falls short and is blamed on the additional priorities that COVID has brought within the house, adjourning any decisions to run again until 2022.
- 2023 – 28th August and Pre-registration is now live!
Kentucky Gambling Tax
Kentucky gambling tax is minimal, set at 1.5% of how much a bettor wagers on a slot machine. There is also an 18% tax on gross commission. 8% of this goes to the Kentucky General Fund, whilst the other 10% goes back into the gambling industry.
There haven’t been any tax figures thrown around should sports betting be legalized. However, because neighbor states Pennsylvania and West Virginia have much higher tax brackets – which Kentucky will probably follow.
Sports You Can Bet on in Kentucky
There are no Kentucky sports betting sites – but there are offshore online betting sites – where you can bet on pretty much any sport you want.
Kentucky residents will be more attached to college sports, especially college basketball where they are represented by teams such as the Louisville Cardinals and Kentucky Wildcats. Horse racing is also popular, especially at the time of the Kentucky Derby.
As well as these sports, other sports to bet on are NFL sports betting, NBA sports betting, baseball – MLB betting and minor league’s Louisville Bats, soccer – with Louisville City FC, tennis, UFC and plenty more.
Kentucky Sports Betting Markets
Whatever sports betting site you visit online, there will be hundreds of sports betting markets to choose from – here are the most common:
This is the most common type of bet – where you just bet on the outcome of the game – which team you think will win.
This works like handicap betting – where you bet on one team having a points advantage assigned to them over the other team before the game.
Total Points (Over/Under)
This is where a bettor wagers on the total number of points scored combined by both teams – you decide whether it will be over or under the line set by the betting site. A variation of this is ‘Team Points’ which works in the same way, except you are betting on the points of just one team, not both.
This is where you bet on the future results – of something that will happen in the future… i.e. who will win the Super Bowl when the NFL season is just starting. This offers some excellent value odds.
Kentucky Sports Betting Bonuses
Although there aren’t any sportsbooks legalized in Kentucky, if you register for an offshore online betting site, there will be welcome bonuses available when you register.
The sportsbook put bonuses into place to encourage you to sign up. Generally, the best sports betting sites all offer very similar services, but what sets them apart from competitors will be the bonus on offer.
Kentucky Mobile Betting Apps
The online sports betting sites available for Kentucky players will generally offer very decent mobile betting apps. These dedicated apps can be downloaded on both iOS and Android – or you can simply opt to open the sports betting site via your mobile browser.
Mobile technology keeps on improving – and as such, more and more players are making their wagers on mobile. If Kentucky sports betting is legalized, then we can look forward to even more on point mobile apps.
Legal Online Casinos in Kentucky
The legalization of casinos is under the same umbrella as sports betting – i.e. you can’t bet on any casino that is based in Kentucky. However, if you want your online poker fix then you can head over to the offshore online sites.
Generally, many online sports betting sites also have an online casino as well, and you can use the same account to enjoy both. Because it isn’t legal in the state, it stands to reason that there are no land-based casinos in the state.
Land-Based Betting in Kentucky
The only real land-based betting available in Kentucky is horse racing. The state has 6 tracks and is the only way to make land-based bets in state lines – given that there are no land-based casinos – not even tribal run casinos.
There are, however, loopholes that mean you can wager on sports and play casino games at certain licensed premises.
All of the below allow access to both, but the only way to play casino games in Kentucky is on video slots – casino table games like blackjack and roulette are not permitted. The locations below offer a host of slots and although they aren’t officially casinos, they work in a similar way. Here are the venues and what type of ‘gambling’ is available at each…
- Churchill Downs: Horse racing and Simulcasting
- Derby City Gaming: over 630 slot games
- Ellis Park: Almost 200 video slot machines
- Keeneland Racecourse: Simulcasting
- Kentucky Downs Casino: over 630 slot machines
- Newport Racing and Gaming: 500 slot games
- Oak Grove Racing and Gaming Hotel: Around 1300 slots
- The Red Mile Kentucky Harness and Historic Racing: Over 900 slots
- Turfway Park: Horse racing, Simulcasting and Off-Track Betting
Kentucky Daily Fantasy Sports
Unlike other types of betting, Daily Fantasy Sports betting (DFS) is legal in the state as it is considered a game of skill rather than luck. As such, you can sign up and play on some of the best sites including FanDuel and DraftKings – to name just a few.
Horse Racing Betting in Kentucky
Many residents of the state consider Kentucky to be the home of US horse racing. Kentucky is home to six states, but Churchill Downs is the most popular of all – because this is the home to the Kentucky Derby, one of the biggest horse races across the entire globe!
Visitors can bet on the races trackside – but if you aren’t able to get to the track, then you will need to register at an offshore online sportsbook if you want to gamble on the races online. Pretty much all of the offshore online sportsbooks offer horse racing betting online options.
If you are able to make it to the tracks, here are the six Kentucky horse racing tracks…
- Churchill Downs, Louisville
- Ellis Park, Henderson
- Keeneland, Lexington
- Kentucky Downs, Franklin
- The Red Mile, Lexington
- Turfway Park, Florence
The Kentucky Derby is considered by horse racing fans as one of the biggest and best races in the world. It is held every year at Churchill Downs and attracts an audience of millions from across the globe. There is a prize purse of $3 million, with £1.86 million set aside for the winner.
As this is a Grade 1 race, it is only open to elite three-year-old thoroughbreds. It is run over a distance of 10 furlongs (1.25 miles) and is called, by the fans, ‘The Run for the Roses’ in reference to the winner being draped in a massive bouquet of roses after crossing the finish line.
This is a hugely important event on the sporting calendar – and in terms of racing, it is one part of the American Triple Crown. This race has been run every single year since its inaugural year in 1875.
Because this is such a huge event, pretty much every single sports betting site will have a fantastic coverage of the race, with all sorts of markets available. Offshore online sportsbooks such as Bovada offer live streaming as well if you can’t make it trackside.
Conclusion: Sports Betting in Kentucky
US sports betting has had a tough time – and the impact of COVID in the last few years cannot be ignored – as it has led to a lot of disruption to the attempts made to legalize sports betting. They had a bill almost ready to be passed, but this had to be set aside until 2022. However, we would expect that 2022 will be the year legislation is passed and it will be more accessible to Kentucky residents without the need to rely on unregulated offshore online sportsbooks.
However, we do expect it to be passed and we also expect Kentucky to thrive when legalizing sports betting means gamblers can enjoy an even more safe and secure experience.
Is Online Sports Betting Legal in Kentucky?
Pre-registration is now live, you can sign up to DraftKings, FanDuel, bet365 – and BetMGM is expected within the week.
What is the Legal Gambling Age in Kentucky?
Sports betting bills across the US state that the legal age for betting is 21. When Kentucky online sportsbooks are legalized, it will be the same.
Is Mobile Sports Betting Available in Kentucky?
Although legalized sports betting isn’t available for Kentucky based sites, mobile betting is available on offshore sports betting sites.