Last Updated: September 22, 2023
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Kentucky sports fans, rejoice! The eagerly awaited launch of online sports betting in KY is just around the corner, scheduled for September 28, 2023. Retail sportsbooks have already opened their doors on September 7, 2023 with Governor Andy Beshear making the first wager at Churchill Downs.
While players wait, there are exclusive offers available to anyone who registers an account. Right now there’s a total of $300 available in bonus bets available if you just sign up to these two operators.
When online sports betting goes like, you’ll be credited these this money in bonus bets — no deposit required.
This comprehensive guide will lead you through the best operators ready to welcome you with generous welcome packages and exciting “grand opening” promotions. A couple of pre-launch deals are out as well. All the recommended US sportsbooks on our site are fully licensed and regulated, as your safety and security is of the utmost importance to us here at pokerfuse.
Get ready to enjoy legal sports betting in Kentucky and join the action for the 2023 NFL Season from Week 4 onwards. Find out which Kentucky sports betting sites are set to offer the best lines, bonuses, and wagering opportunities.
For the full guide on the state’s leading operators, promotions, and the legal landscape of online sports betting in Kentucky, continue reading below.
Yes, sports betting is legal in Kentucky. The state legalized sports betting, including online platforms, in March 2023. Residents and visitors will be able to place bets on sports events through authorized online sports betting sites or mobile apps within the state’s boundaries from September 7, 2023 (retail shops) and September 28, 2023 (online betting).
With Kentucky being one of the most recent states to make online sports betting legal, no wonder there is going to be big competition between operators to grab as many customers as possible in the opening weeks.
At the time of publishing, BetMGM, FanDuel, and DraftKings have been confirmed to launch their mobile sportsbooks in Kentucky on September 28, 2023. If they are going to follow the same patterns for brand-new launches before, these operators should offer their standard welcome packages for fellow Kentuckians, while some of the pre-launch offers are already live!
Even though online sports betting in Kentucky will launch on September 28, bettors don’t have to wait for this date to claim bonus bets. Right now there are two pre-launch offers and the process of claiming them is straightforward.
Take a couple of minutes to open a new account using our promo links below and receive $100 or $200 in bonus bets on the launch date! There is no deposit required and claiming both offers is also an option.
BetMGM was one of the first to communicate and reach an agreement with the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC), getting a license to operate in the state. It is ranked as one of the best sportsbooks in the United States, offering a vast selection of betting markets for over 25 different sports.
All the modern features like cash out, bet editing, same-game parlay builders, and live streaming are available at BetMGM. We’ve always praised this sportsbook for the competitiveness of its odds, especially for NHL and NBA action.
BetMGM Sportsbook has announced their special Pre-Launch, No Deposit Required offer in the last week of August, giving $100 to all new players who sign up before September 28, 2023. Don’t miss out on this fantastic promotion and get your bonus bets ready by opening a new account using THIS LINK.
As for the welcome package, a First Bet Offer of up to $1,000, should be available for Kentucky players on launch day. How it works: if a player fails to land their first bet, they will get their initial stake refunded in bonus bets, up to $1,000. On top of that, BetMGM runs frequent promotions and rewards loyal customers.
Head to BetMGM for more info and to sign up for its brand-new Kentucky Sportsbook.
Although primarily known for its interstellar Daily Fantasy Sports services, DraftKings US has successfully expanded into the sports betting and casino realm. According to the latest reports, DraftKings is the number one DFS provider for Kentucky players, who will also be delighted to use this operator for all their wagering needs.
DraftKings is among the first Kentucky sportsbooks to promote a Pre-Launch bonus for new players. The DK pre-launch bonus requires minimal investment and can lead to building a significant betting bankroll for new players. Sign up now and receive $200 in bonus bets (8 x $25 bonus bets) automatically on September 28, when DraftKings KY goes live. That’s it. No deposit required!
The DraftKings Sportsbook App is one of the best mobile betting platforms in the industry and is notoriously easy to use. It doesn’t matter which sports you prefer the most — this provider has a great selection of sports, markets, and promotions, while the odds are more than competitive.
Learn more about the DraftKings Sportsbook KY pre-launch no deposit bonus, or simply follow this link to sign up and secure your $200 in bonus bets!
FanDuel has also offered Daily Fantasy Sports services in the Bluegrass State for years. They are going to be one of the first operators to launch their sports betting application and website in Kentucky.
This brand has been up and running since 2009 as one of the most popular DFS providers in the country, but they have successfully branched out to online sports betting and casino realms.
They had a couple of high-value offers and promotions when launching in Ohio and Massachusetts earlier this year, so make sure to check this page for potential pre-launch offers in the upcoming weeks.
Regulators in Kentucky awarded temporary licenses to eight mobile sportsbooks on August 22, 2023. Sports bettors will be able to sign up with these operators and claim pre-launch deals on Monday, August 28. Here is the list of licensed mobile sportsbooks for the Bluegrass State:
Make sure to check this page for the latest updates and claim those generous pre-launch welcome packages.
Initially, local government representatives showed little love for sports betting in Kentucky despite the industry-revolutionizing PASPA repeal in 2018. The US Supreme Court gave all states the power to decide whether or not they would embrace sports wagering by overturning the federal ban in 2018.
While some states rushed to take advantage of the opportunity offered by a new, unexplored gambling market, Kentucky declined to enact sports betting for years. Representative Adam Koenig made his first attempt to move a sports betting bill through the state legislature in 2019, but that effort and subsequent ones over the next three years all came up short.
But calls to enact sports betting gradually grew and resistance to the idea began to wane. The House passed a sports betting bill, HB 606, on a 58-30 vote in 2022, but it did not advance in the Senate.
The breakthrough finally came in 2023 after Representative Michael Meredith took over the effort. His bill, HB 551, received the required support in both House (63-34) and Senate (25-12) on the very last day of the legislative session. The final piece fell into place when Governor Andy Beshear signed the bill into law, clearing the way for legal sports betting in Kentucky.
The new law allows all nine of Kentucky’s horse racing tracks and the Kentucky Speedway to host retail sports wagering rooms on their properties. Each of the nine premises can welcome up to three online betting operators. This allows room for as many as 27 online sports betting operators in the Bluegrass State.
All applicants must secure licensing and approval from the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC), which was selected to be the governing body in charge of regulating the state’s new gambling industry.
As per HB 551, retail sportsbooks are subject to a 9.75% tax rate, while the online sports betting tax rate goes to 14.25%. While not as low as Nevada’s 6.25% rate, these rates are better than the average standard across the United States.
For the sake of comparison, sportsbooks in New York need to pay a massive 51% tax rate. The Kentucky rates thus only work in favor of the betting operators, meaning we have all the reasons to expect lucrative Kentucky sportsbook promo offers upon launch.
As for bettors, they need to pay a 25% federal tax and a 6% local tax for any gambling wins of $600 or more at a sportsbook or elsewhere. To avoid having your single-wager winnings deducted (remember, the deductions only happen if the winnings are $600 or more), you can fill in a W-9 form. Once you do so, your Kentucky sportsbook will always pay you in full, but you will need to settle your tax bill with the IRS at the end of the year.
The good thing with this is that any losses you suffer throughout a year will be deducted from your winnings, meaning you will only pay the tax for the profit made between January 1st and December 31st.
Retail sportsbooks opened on September 7, while online sports betting in Kentucky will go live three weeks later, on September 28. You will have no shortage of places to bet, as the state laws allow up to 27 distinct wagering operators to go live in Kentucky. We already have confirmations from several US industry heavyweights who will hit the new KY market on launch day, including DraftKings and BetMGM.
The process of placing a sports bet in Kentucky will thus be straightforward, knowing the reputation the aforementioned operators have. It includes the following:
Kentucky regulator revealed their initial list of approved sports for online betting and retail shops. The most popular leagues in the country like MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL, WNBA and Nascar have made it to the list. Sports bettors will also have markets available for soccer (both US and European matches) eSport events, racing & motor sport (US events only), golf (international tournaments), darts, chess and more.
Unfortunately, horse racing & greyhound racing won’t be available at launch for online betting, but it was stated that amendments are possible in near future. More info can be found in this article.
Kentucky became the 37th US state that legalized online sports betting. The luxury of placing legal bets on your favorite teams from the comfort of your home without any unwanted risks represents a significant upgrade for the state’s sports aficionados.
In the absence of legal sportsbooks, some residents in Kentucky placed real money wagers with risky offshore operators. These sportsbooks are not licensed to operate in Kentucky or any other US state. While they may promise to always pay out their winnings, we have seen numerous cases in which they have failed to live up to that promise, causing significant problems for bettors, particularly those who have landed serious winnings and have large amounts of money at stake.
The worst part about offshore operators is that there is no legal way for you to demand the payout of your winnings. They are not licensed, and, as such, they are not obligated to pay debts. The only downside for them would be a poor reputation in these cases.
However, these times are luckily now behind us as Kentucky has finally embraced legal sports betting, which will be available in September. From now on, local residents can pick one of several legally operating, fully licensed sportsbooks in the state, where they won’t need to worry about anything else other than the outcome of their wagers.
To obtain a license, sports betting operators must follow the strictest security measures, including separating player funds from the money of their operational costs as well as securing timely payouts on every single occasion. Licensed operators guarantee 100% fair treatment. They also pay taxes, so a portion of their money goes to various socially beneficial programs.
Unlike some other states, Kentucky sports betting does not impose restrictions in terms of banking methods. The real money sports betting operators that go live in September will thus offer an array of options, including the following:
Learn More: Most Popular US Sportsbooks That Accept PayPal
Fully licensed and regulated retail sportsbooks will open on September 7, while Kentucky’s online sports betting apps will launch on September 28.
DraftKings betting app has an average rating 4.8 out of 5 on the app store after more than 250,000 customer reviews. It’s well-designed, easy to use and it will be available for all Kentucky residents to download and use. BetMGM’s betting app is slightly less polished, but deserves high rating as well.
The KY sports betting bill (HB 551) allows up to 27 online sports betting apps to go live in the Bluegrass State. All the biggest companies in the niche, such as DraftKings, FanDuel, and BetMGM, have confirmed they will launch in the newly opened Kentucky market, so bettors will be spoiled for choice once everything goes live.
You must be at least 18 years old to legally bet on sports in KY. You will need to verify your age during the registration process with any Kentucky sports betting operator.
Like in all other states where online sports betting is legal, bettors from Kentucky won’t be able to place bets on in-state college teams, but wagering on all squads outside the state is perfectly fine and permitted.
Yes! In fact, we expect Kentucky sports betting operators to come up with even more attractive promotional offers because of the low tax rates in the state.
The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) is responsible for overseeing retail and online sports betting in the Bluegrass State.
According to the latest info from BetMGM and DraftKings Sportsbooks, sports bettors from Kentucky are able to choose between pre-launch offer and standard welcome bonus, but unable to claim both.