A State with Legal Online Gambling that does not Include Casinos
Online casinos 6

The world-famous Kentucky Derby is enough evidence that gambling is popular in the state, and while it's recently lawalized online sports betting, lawmakers show little interest in online casinos. In our guide, we look at a short history, the law details, and how you can play legally online.

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Kentucky Online Casino Guide Banner - ACG

Kentucky is not a gambling-friendly state by any means. It could have some of the strictest gambling laws in the country. That being said, Kentucky does have minimal options for those looking to press their luck, including the famously known Kentucky Derby. In addition to horse racing and a lottery, Kentucky became the 34th state to legalize online sports betting in 2023.

Will Kentucky online casinos be legalized in the future? And how did the state become so strict towards gambling in the first place? In our Kentucky online casino guide, we dive into the details and ways to enjoy the best casino games.

Top Guide to the Kentucky Online Casinos

Unlike most US states moving forward with gambling activity, Kentucky shifts to the other directly. There are no land-based casinos and even the few locations that offered games similar to slots became illegal in March 2023.

Kentucky is located in the east of America, where multiple other states have legalized online casinos, including its neighboring state to the east, West Virginia. While further away, Michigan is yet another popular destination with the best online casinos for players in Kentucky.

Are Online Casinos Legal in Kentucky?

No, online casinos in Kentucky are illegal, and while offshore casinos continue to cater to the state, it’s important to remember that these sites are not regulated. Therefore, unfair games and bonuses, poor security, and unreliable payments are some common issues.

Without an active gambling license in America, offshore casinos do not follow any regulations to ensure a fair and safe gaming platform.

What is Legal in Kentucky Casinos?

One of the most popular forms of gambling in Kentucky is pari-mutuel, and the Kentucky Derby remains one of the biggest events in the US since 1875. Therefore, it’s no surprise that the state allows land-based sports betting and recently legalized online betting.

While Kentucky online casinos and land-based casinos remain illegal, the state also has a lottery, which started in 1989.

When Will Kentucky Legalize Online Casinos?

Since no land-based casinos are in the state, it’s unlikely for Kentucky online casinos to become available anytime soon. As with casino sites in other legal states, online sites usually partner with land-based casinos, which means they operate under the same licenses and, therefore, follow the same gambling standards.

Kentucky online casinos might become available in the next few years, but the state’s focus remains on sports betting, especially horse racing. Like most other restricted states, Sweepstake online casinos are legal in Kentucky since they do not require a deposit or offer real money gambling.

Brief Gambling History in Kentucky

Gambling in Kentucky has always been popular and will continue to grow in the years to come. The first form of modern gambling occurred in 1787 with Lexington’s first documented horse race. Louisville used Market Street as its racecourse two years later, and Lexington adopted the same concept not long after. It wasn’t until 1858 that Lexington Association Track opened as the first in Kentucky.

The next major gambling-related event occurred in 1988 when lawmakers were pressured to put a state lottery up for vote by Governor Wallace G Wilkinson, which passed with 60%, and the first ticket was sold the next year. In 2016, the first internet-based lottery ticket was sold in Kentucky, introducing other lotteries such as Powerball, Megamillions, and the KY Cash Ball.

In 2023, online gambling in Kentucky took another major step forward as online sports betting was legalized.

Best Sweepstake Casinos to Play in Kentucky

Sweepstake Online Casinos in Kentucky Banner - ACG

Kentucky online casinos might be illegal, but since Sweepstake online casinos do provide real money gaming, it means you don’t have to make deposits. The best part of Sweepstake casinos is that you can play the latest casino games and convert your rewards into cash prizes and gifts.

RankSweepstake CasinoWelcome Bonus
1.High 5 Casino250 Game Coins, 5 Sweeps, 600 Diamonds
2.Wow Vegas5,000 Wow Coins
3.Gambino Slots100,000 Game Coins
4.Pulsz2.3 Sweeps + 5,000 Game Coins
5.Rush GamesVC$500 Welcome Bonus

In Which States Is Online Casino Legal?

Online casinos in Kentucky are easily accessible since multiple nearby states have legalized online play. Therefore, it’s quite surprising that Kentucky is not moving in the same direction, especially since they have just legalized online betting. New Jersey was the first to launch online casinos in 2013, and Rhode Island will be the seventh in 2024.

Closest Legal State to Kentucky

To access online casinos from Kentucky, a short drive to West Virginia is all you need, which could take as little as an hour, depending on where you are in the state. Michigan is another popular online gambling destination with a broader range of online casinos. However, if you want endless options and access to brilliant online casino bonuses, it’s worth taking the trip to Pennsylvania.

 Land-Based Casinos in Kentucky

Three racetrack casinos in Kentucky offer some form of casino gambling. There are no traditional slot machines in Kentucky casinos. Instead, they all offer instant racing betting machines.

While these machines may appear to be regular slot machines, they are gaming machines based on unidentified past horse races, and the spinning reels shown on the machines are for entertainment purposes only.

Those instant racing machines are the only types of casino gambling offered in Kentucky casinos. You will not find any table games offered at the casinos in Kentucky.

Kentucky Online Casinos are Unlikely

While multiple forms of gambling are popular, Kentucky online casinos don’t get much attention from lawmakers, which makes it unlikely for anything major to change in the next few years. Of course, it’s entirely possible, especially if more surrounding states move to legalize the best online casinos.

Luckily, online casinos from Kentucky are easy to reach and are just a short drive away. You can even register your account at West Virginia online casinos, but you must be in the state to play.