Online Sports Betting Begins Soon in Kentucky. Here’s What You Need to Know.

A quick primer from Covers ahead of the start of mobile wagering in the Bluegrass State.

Last Updated: Sep 26, 2023 5:05 PM ET Read Time: 2 min
Maxwell Hairston Kentucky Wildcats NCAAF
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

Online sports betting sites are mere hours away from launching in the Bluegrass State, but players need to know a few things before they start wagering.

Covers, well, has you covered. 

When does online sports betting begin?

The earliest online sports betting in Kentucky can start is 6 a.m. ET on Thursday. That is the timeline laid down by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) and touted by Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear. They are sticking to it until further notice. 

Who can I bet with?

Seven sports betting sites are poised to launch on day one of mobile wagering in Kentucky. They are:

The KHRC licensed Circa Sports as well, but the operator plans to launch in Kentucky later this year. Additional mobile bookmakers could join the state’s online wagering market in the weeks and months to come, as Kentucky law permits up to 27 operators.

How old do I need to be?

The minimum legal age for sports betting in Kentucky is 18, but that’s not mandatory. DraftKings and bet365, for instance, will accept signups from those 18 and up, but Caesars and FanDuel will need you to be 21 or older. Players should check to ensure they are old enough to sign up with a certain sportsbook.

Wait, didn’t sports betting already start?

Yes, legal sports betting in Kentucky technically began on September 7 at brick-and-mortar racing and gaming facilities, such as the famous Churchill Downs, the home of the Kentucky Derby. However, mobile sports betting only legally begins this week. 

Oh, OK. So what sports can I bet on?

Plenty. Most of the official wagering catalog is here. A few more sports were recently added. In short, though, all the classics should be there, such as the MLB, NBA, NFL, and college basketball and football. But there is much more, too, such as esports, bowling, chess, cornhole, darts, sailing, snooker, and Major League Eating. Some sports won’t be there, but many will, and more are on the way. Notably, though, horse racing is only available at the track, OTBs, and separate racebook apps, like TwinSpires. Non-sport events, such as awards shows, are off the menu as well. 

What if I don’t want to bet?

You don’t have to. Or, if you’ve had enough of betting and want some help to steer clear, resources are available, such as by calling or texting 1-800-GAMBLER or visiting

Where is the money from sports betting going?

The revenue sportsbook operators earn in Kentucky is taxed by the state. For retail revenue, the tax rate is 9.75%. For mobile, it is 14.25%. The money raised through that will go to fund the oversight of the sports-betting industry in Kentucky, while 2.5% is earmarked for addiction-related education and treatment. The remainder will help shore up the state’s pensions. 

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