Here is our Kentucky Betting guide, including information on why choosing offshore sportsbooks like is the right choice.

Kentucky, home of the Kentucky Derby, hosts one of the greatest gambling events of the year every year. Unfortunately for Kentucky citizens, horse racing is the only form of authorized gambling supported by the state, with the exception of charitable events and the lottery.

Kentucky even went so far as to try to ban online gambling in the state on the grounds that it was reducing revenue from horse racing. There are no rules in place to punish gamers in the state for gambling online or offline, but there aren’t many options either.

Kentucky Gaming Regulations

Horse racing is an important aspect of Kentucky’s tourism and culture, highlighted by the annual running of the Kentucky Derby. While the state is staunchly opposed to horse racing, it is staunchly opposed to all types of gambling, both online and off.

Opposition to Online Gambling

On September 18, 2008, a district judge in Kentucky ordered 141 gambling websites to transfer their domain names to the state of Kentucky because these websites were deemed “gambling devices” by Kentucky. A gambling device is defined as “any mechanical or other device… designed and manufactured primarily for use in connection with gambling” by the state.

Kentucky became the first state in the United States to sue offshore gaming sites. The Kentucky Court of Appeals concluded in 2014, six years after the lawsuit began, that domain names were not gambling equipment, causing the action to be withdrawn since the state lacked the jurisdiction to execute a forfeiture of the domain names.

The state’s efforts would have been futile anyhow, as federal trade restrictions may have barred this action from proceeding. However, Kentucky’s actions made it plain that it is opposed to online gambling.

Kentucky Sports Betting

Bookmaking is illegal in Kentucky, as it is throughout the country. Promoting gambling through bookmaking is a Class D felony in Kentucky, defined as “using three or more persons in a bookmaking activity and receiving or accepting bets totaling more than $500 in any one day.”

Fortunately for Kentucky sports bettors, there are no regulations in existence that punish individuals for placing these bets; only bookies for accepting them.

Online Gambling

Because there are no sports betting choices available in Kentucky, gamblers who want to wager on sports in Kentucky must do so through offshore sportsbooks. While Kentucky’s most recent attempt to sue offshore sportsbooks for accepting Kentucky residents failed and is unlikely to be repeated anytime soon, several sites remain leery of doing business in the Bluegrass State. Bettors should check with the site they intend to use to ensure that they allow Kentucky residents.

When the state went after offshore bookies, it only went after the websites, not the bettors. No Kentucky resident has ever been charged with a crime for betting on sports online, and there are no laws prohibiting it.

Kentucky Poker and Casino

Kentucky is one of the few remaining states in the United States that does not have any casinos. Casinos, whether privately held or tribally owned, are not permitted in the state of Kentucky. While many jurisdictions have authorized casino games at race tracks in order to increase revenue, Kentucky’s race tracks are solely dedicated to horse racing betting.

In addition, there are no gambling rooms in Kentucky. If it is a charitable event, poker can be played under certain restrictions, but typical legal poker games are not available in any physical and mortar establishments in the state.

Online Poker

Players in Kentucky seeking more than simply local house games have only one option: play online through an offshore sportsbook. While several sportsbooks were targeted in Kentucky’s domain name seizure, many of the 141 sites mentioned were tied to casinos and poker. As a result, some legal online poker venues may be reluctant to accept Kentucky residents’ business, so locals should be prepared to do some research.

There are no regulations in Kentucky that restrict residents from playing poker or gambling online.

Other Kentucky Gaming Options

Thoroughbred racing is very much alive and well in Kentucky. The Kentucky Derby is held at Churchill Downs in Louisville, although live racing and simulcast betting are also available at Keeneland in Lexington, Turfway Park in Florence, and Ellis Park in Henderson. Horse racing in Kentucky draws both locals and visitors.

Lottery in Kentucky

The Kentucky Lottery began with scratch-off tickets in 1989 and later grew to include draws for both in-state and national games such as Powerball and Mega Millions. Cash Ball, one of the state’s most popular games, is drawn daily using a 4+1 matrix.

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