40,409 sq m
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All you need to know about gambling in Kentucky

Kentucky is not only famous for its fried chicken, but also for some of the best legal horse tracks in the United States! Although land based casinos are not authorized in Kentucky, horse racing is, and there are 8 horse tracks available for residents and visitors alike to enjoy. As well as this, there is also a state run lottery which should really fulfill ones gaming needs.

A Gambling day at Kentucky

In Kentucky you could spend the day at the horse tracks at Churchill Downs, Louisville. Other options include Bluegrass Downs horse track and the famous Red Mile track. At Red Mile, you can even try your hand at the tables with Black jack, roulette and many other games.

Gambling so far

Although there is a nice selection of horse racing establishments, as well as the lottery and the occasional small scale casino, sometimes people want a little more. That’s where online gambling comes in. See, there are many occasions where the people of Kentucky wish to indulge in something more than betting on the horses and would prefer to take it to the tables or spin it on the slots. Online gambling is accessible to residents of Kentucky, and allows people to enjoy all their favorite casino classics from the comforts of their own homes. In fact, many people prefer online gambling to the real deal, as they are less distracted by the whole experience and can really focus on winning big.


Among those living in Kentucky, the most frequently played game online would have to be online poker. This game is so popular for a number of reasons, one of which is because players are able to game with a live dealer, meaning they can actually see the hand being dealt as they play. Also, there are more and more interactive online poker options nowadays, allowing players to talk to one another online so they really feel part of the game and more connected to their opponents.


When choosing an online gambling establishment, make sure to take note of a few features. Make sure firstly that the site offers safe and easy banking methods (like Visa and MasterCard for instance). Then, check to see that the software is powerful and that there are a nice selection of games and bonuses to keep you going.

Kentucky Gambling Laws

When it comes to Kentucky gambling, the first thing that goes inside our heads is horse racing – placing bets on the fastest horse is really such a huge part of the Bluegrass state. This is mostly because the gaming laws in Kentucky allow only horse racing, some betting and charitable games. Therefore, there are no casinos in the state.

 Horse Racing and Pari-Mutuel Betting

horseracingkentuckyThe horse running, pacing, and trotting races along with harness races are allowed by the state laws. The off-track interstate betting as well as pari-mutuel betting are also legal here. So, if you are interesting in horse racing and going to bet, Kentucky Derby and Churchill Downs that are the most famous racetracks in the US, are available for betting all the year. There are also video games that allow betting on over 200,000 recorded races, though only on-track – The Historical Horse Racing.


casinokentuckyKentucky does not allow casinos, Native American-owned or commercial. There have been several unsuccessful attempts to legalize casino gambling in the state – the last two ones took place in 2013. So, for now the only legal way for Kentucky residents to gamble in the casino is to visit the riverboat casinos in Ohio and Indiana, which are fairly border to the state.


Online Gambling

onlinegamblingkentuckyOnline gambling is a gray area in the state: there are some online sites, located outside the Kentucky, that will accept people from the state, but there are still many more that will not accept. This is because Kentucky is one of the few states in the US that do not have obvious criminal penalties for people who engage in illegal gambling activities not as promoters, but as players online. There are no high hopes that something will change soon here. For example, Sen. Mike Wilson, a Kentucky lawmaker, wants to make online gambling illegal in the Kentucky – he has recently pre-filled his bill, BR229, for 2015 legislative session.


pokerkentuckyOnly social poker games is legal in Kentucky: charity poker and free poker tournaments (all have no entry fees). Note that the players in such social games are specifically excluded from the charge, while the organizers can be in major trouble. Online Poker is illegal in Kentucky.




loterykentuckyThere is a state lottery in Kentucky which includes PowerBall, Megamillions, Keno and others lottery hits. According to the last report, its sales for the 2014 period have reached $858.8 million. The minimum age to play is 18.




Charitable Gaming

Bingo games, raffles and pull-tabs are allowed under Kentucky gambling laws; they require that charities retain 40% of their revenue for charitable purposes.


Other Types of Gambling

Kentucky has very strict laws on gambling. That means that other kinds of gambling and gambling-related activities that involve bookmaking, organizing or promoting gambling, and possession of gambling devices and records are illegal and punishable by law.

Turfway Park
Ellis Park
Churchill Downs

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