Believe it or not, Kentucky had major teams in football, basketball, and baseball. That is not the case today, but Kentucky has other professional sports teams that make for some exciting events, not to mention a wealth of big horse races.

Betting on sports within the state is not as easy as finding events to watch. Not to worry, even though sportsbooks operating in the states limits are not legal, you can place wagers at offshore sportsbooks.

Here is an overview of the legal status of sports betting in Kentucky as well as some great sportsbooks that you can legally use today.

Is Online Sports Betting Legal in Kentucky?

There is a bill that’s been in the system for a couple of years that aims to allow Kentucky’s racing commission to create a system of sports wagering. This would allow for wagering on professional and college sports. With that being said, two other bills were introduced early 2019 — as with anything in the government, it will be some time before this is sorted.

At this time it is not legal to operate a sportsbook within the state of Kentucky. Any sportsbook or bookie operating within the state is not doing so legally.

That said, Kentucky residents are able to place bets through online betting sites that are licensed and regulated outside of the United States. The two betting sites I recommend below fall into this category and have served the United States betting market for over a decade each.

Best Sports Betting Sites for Kentucky Residents

Kentuckians can check out our top rated online sportsbooks below. These sites are trusted by and cater to Americans across the USA.

Sportsbook
Features
Bonus
Rating
Bet Now
1
  • Built for American bettors
  • Wide variety of competitive betting lines
  • Easy to navigate betting platform
50% up to $250
2
  • Accepts players worldwide
  • Competitive betting lines
  • Fast & easy deposits and withdrawals (including Bitcoin)
50% up to $1000

Offline Sports Betting in Kentucky

Sportsbooks operating within the state of Kentucky are doing so illegally. If you do come across one, be weary, and turn the other way. 

The only way to currently bet of sports from within Kentucky is to use an online sportsbook that is licensed and regulated outside of the USA, such as the ones mentioned above.

Major Sports Teams in Kentucky

Although there are no major sports teams in Kentucky, there is no shortage of other professional teams within the state. I put together a quick list below of the more popular teams.

Bowling Green

  • Bowling Green Hot Rods (Midwest League)

Florence

  • Florence Y’alls (Frontier League)

Lexington

  • Lexington Blackstones RFC (USA Rugby Midwest Men’s Division III)
  • Lexington Landsharks (OVPL)
  • Lexington Legends (SAL)

Louisville

  • Derby-City Dynamite (WFA)
  • Louisville Bats (IL)
  • Louisville Bulls (USA Rugby Midwest Men’s Division III)
  • Louisville City FC (UCL)
  • Proof Louisville FC (NWSL)

Owensboro

  • Owensboro Thouroughbreds (TBL)

Horse Racing in Kentucky

Kentucky and horse racing are almost synonymous. Check out the major tracks and their big events below. The list of major races is by no means a complete one. It is simply meant to give you an idea of the sheer volume of big time horse races in Kentucky.

Horse racing in Kentucky is much more than just Churchill Downs or the Kentucky Derby.

**You can also place bets on all of the tracks and races below online at the betting sites recommended above.

Major Tracks and Races

  • Churchill Downs, Louisville
    Events:
    – G1 Kentucky Derby – 3-year-olds going 1-1/4 mi.
    – G1 Kentucky Oaks – 3-year-old fillies going 1-1/8 mi.
    – G1 Clark Handicap – 3-year-olds & up going 1-1/8 mi.
    – G1 Humana Distaff – 3-year-olds & up fillies & mares going 7f
  • Keeneland Racecourse, Lexington
    Events:
    – $400,000 Darley Alcibiades (G1) | 2-year-old fillies going 8 1/2 furlongs
    – $250,000 Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix (G2) | 3-year-olds & up going 6 furlongs
    – $1 Million Shadwell Turf Mile (G1) | 3-year-olds & up going 8 furlongs
    – $500,000 Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity (G1) | 2-year-olds going 8 1/2 furlongs
    – $400,000 First Lady (G1) | 3-year-olds & up going 8 furlongs
    – $250,000 Thoroughbred Club of America (G2) | 3-year-olds & up going 6 furlongs
    – $200,000 Woodford (G2) Presented by Keeneland Select | 3-year-olds & up going 5 1/2 furlongs
    – $500,000 Juddmonte Spinster (G1) | 3-year-olds & up going 9 furlongs
    – $250,000 Dixiana Bourbon (G3) | 2-year-olds going 8 1/2 furlongs
    – $150,000 JPMorgan Chase Jessamine (G3) | 2-year-old fillies going 8 1/2 furlongs
    – $100,000 Buffalo Trace Franklin County (G3) | 3-year-olds & up going 5 1/2 furlongs
    – $500,000 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Presented by Lanes’ End (G1) | 3-year-old fillies going 9 furlongs
    – $100,000 Sycamore (G3) | 3-year-olds & up going 12 furlongs
    – $150,000 Pin Oak Valley View (G3) | 3-year-old fillies going 8 1/2 furlongs
    – $250,000 Lexus Raven Run (G2) | 3-year-old fillies going 7 furlongs
    – $125,000 Rood & Riddle Dowager (G3) | 3-year-olds & up going 12 furlongs
    – $200,000 Hagyard Fayette (G2) | 3-year-olds & up going 9 furlongs
  • Ellis Park Race Course, Henderson
    Events:
    – G3 Gardenia – 3-year-olds & up fillies & mares going 1 mi.
    – Don Bernhardt – 3-year-olds & up going 6.5f
    – Cliff Guilliams Handicap – 3-year-olds & up going 1-1/16 mi. on turf
    – Ellis Park Turf – 3-year-olds & up fillies & mares going 1-1/16 mi. on turf
  • Kentucky Downs, Franklin
    Events:
    – G3 Kentucky Turf Cup | 3-year-olds & up going 1-1/2 mi. on turf
    – Dueling Grounds Derby | 3-year-olds going 1-1-5/16 mi. on turf
    – More Than Ready Mile | 3-year-olds & up going 1 mi.
    – Kentucky Downs Turf Dash | 3-year-olds & up going 6.5f
  • Turfway Park, Florence
    Events:
    – G3 Spiral | 3-year-olds going 1-1/8 mi. on the all-weather
    – G3 Bourbonette Oaks | 3-year-old fillies going 1 mi. on the all-weather
    – John Battaglia Memorial | 3-year-olds going 1-1/16 mi. on the all-weather
    – Rushaway | 3-year-olds going 1-1/16 mi. on the all-weather