Kentucky Online Gambling

Gambling Information and Online Casino Listings

Gambling, as an integral part of the horse racing scene in the Bluegrass State, lives in the online realm as well, no thanks to state’s efforts to legalize online gambling. Businesses dealing with gambling on the internet are not allowed within state borders, but gambling online itself is not explicitly illegal.

All the Kentucky residents have to do is reach out and join offshore gambling websites and they are off the hook automatically.

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History of gambling in Kentucky

While some states are more inclined towards lottery and have a long history with lottery gambling, in the case of Kentucky it is horse racing. Most influential in the Bluegrass State, the horse racing industry traces its roots way back into the late 1700’s. The first horse race in the entire US was held in Kentucky in 1783, so it comes as no surprise that the Bluegrass State is considered the epicenter of thoroughbred breeding and racing. Early lottery activities were often corrupt, so the Kentucky constitution introduced anti-gambling wording to stop them. The world’s best known and most prestigious racing competition - the Kentucky Derby - is being hosted in Kentucky since 1875.

Years and years would pass until the State of Kentucky finally opened for other forms of betting, namely the state-regulated lottery. The Kentucky gaming market extended beyond betting on horse races when the lottery act was passed in 1988. Some years later, charitable gambling was approved, but nothing in the field of brick and mortar casinos. Regrettably, that is the situation that still describes the state of casino gambling in Kentucky. Several racetrack casinos offer specific forms of casino gambling, but that is hardly in the traditional casino spirit. We can’t say that Kentucky doesn’t have any casinos for the lack of trying - there were attempts to legalize and regulate casino gambling in 2010 and 2012, but the Congress’ resistance proved that amount of revenue the state already earned from horse race betting was large enough.

 

Land based casinos

Among all the horse owners, breeders and trainers, it has been complicated to introduce any other format of gambling in Kentucky. The state lottery sells scratch-off and lotto tickets at designated venues (more than 1,000 lottery retailers) and the six racetracks in the state offer betting on horse races (off-track betting as well). Three locations out of six also include a controversial type of gambling machines - instant betting or instant racing machines, which aren’t slots, but they do look and feel like slots. To keep them away from legislation issues, the three venues (Kentucky Downs, Ellis Park, and Red Mile) like to describe them as ‘historical racing machines’, since they let bettors to wager on thousands of past horse races.

Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky’s largest city, is the home to the Kentucky Derby which is always run on the first Sunday in May. Of course, there are races being held all year round, as the Churchill Downs has both a turf track and the main track. The venue opened in 1883 and is still incredibly popular, being one of the loveliest destinations for people to observe and bet on horse races. Kentucky Downs in Franklin houses 500 instant racing machines, while The Red Mile in Lexington offers 900 of those. The proximity of Ohio and Indiana allow Kentucky residents to experience brick and mortar casino action complete with actual slots and table games.

 

Online casinos

Some of the reputable online casinos which accept players from most US states are Slots.LV Casino and Casino Max, among others. Slots.LV restricts access to players from New Jersey, Maryland and New York, but openly accepts bettors from Kentucky. At Slots.LV, gaming enthusiast can enjoy games made by Rival and Real Time Gaming, and pay with their Bitcoin. There are more than 200 slots on offer, and a decent collection of table games. Casino Max is newer than Slots.LV, having been launched in 2017. It offers 150 of the most popular slots and only the best RTG table games. Casino Max also accepts Bitcoins, and processes payments in a timely manner.

Churchill Downs has its own betting website - the Twin Spires - and allows customers to make bets on races.

 

Regulation and legality of online gambling

The current approach to online gambling in the State of Kentucky is inappropriate at the least. Antiquated laws offer no mention of gambling over the internet, and everything falls under the realm of interpretation. In recent years, gambling has been a hot topic in Kentucky, especially around the time of the PokerStars debacle, and the entire online poker sites affair. In 2008, the state initiated a lawsuit in an attempt to seize 141 domain names, including major brands like PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker and Absolute Poker. PokerStars was sued for $290 million for accepting players from the Bluegrass State. The case is still ongoing; PokerStars has changed owners in the meantime and has appealed the lawsuit. It was the first time for a state to bring legal action against online gambling providers. The players, interestingly, were completely left out.

 

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