Louisville is primarily known as a horse racing town, which makes sense considering it’s home to Churchill Downs, which is the most famous racetrack in America. For traditional sports, the University of Louisville sports teams are the hottest ticket in town, with Louisville residents also having the option to travel to Cincinnati in under two hours to take in the NFL or MLB.
Like everywhere in the United States, sports betting has gained a lot of popularity in Louisville over the past decade. Being a horse racing town, getting action on sporting events came natural, and it’s now very common for Louisville residents to place sports wagers online. On this page I will touch on the legal issues with betting on sports in Louisville, recommend two betting sites that are popular among Americans, and look at the offline betting options in the city.
Is Sports Betting Legal in Louisville?
The best way to answer this question is in two parts…
#1. It is not legal to operate a sportsbook and take bets within the State of Kentucky at this time.
#2. It is not illegal for Kentucky residents to open accounts and place bets at offshore betting sites that are licensed, regulated and located outside of the United States. Both of the sportsbooks listed below fall into this category.
**A new house bill introduced at the start of the 2023 legislative session is looking to legalize sports betting and daily fantasy sports in Kentucky. The 2022 push to legalize sports betting came very close, so there is optimism that 2023 is the year that a bill to legalize sports betting is passed in Kentucky.
Best Sportsbooks for Louisville Residents
- Built for American bettors
- Wide variety of competitive betting lines
- Easy to navigate betting platform
These are our two top rated betting sites for Louisville residents. Both sites are very popular among American sports bettors, and each site is built with American customers in mind. Check out the reviews to learn more about either site.
Offline Sports Betting in Louisville
Unfortunately, offline sports betting is not permitted within the State of Kentucky. That said, Kentucky does allow you to wager on horse races at the track, and Louisville happens to be home to the most recognizable racetrack in America.
Churchill Downs is perhaps the most famous racetrack in the United States. It hosts the Kentucky Derby each year, which is the most watched (and bet on) horse race in the United States annually. The race track is located right in the heart of the city, just a few minutes from the University of Louisville.
In addition to the Kentucky Derby, Churchill Downs is host to many other notable races each year including the Kentucky Oats, Woodford Reserve Turf Classic, and Stephen Foster Handicap.
Churchill Downs has live racing four or five days a week during racing season, and offers simulcast betting year round.
You can also wager on all Churchill Downs races throughout the year at either of our recommended betting sites listed above.
**You cannot place regular sports bets at Churchill Downs (only horse racing wagers).
Major Sports Teams in Louisville Area
- Louisville Cardinals (NCAA)
- Louisville City FC (Soccer – USL)
- Louisville Bats (Baseball – MiLB)
Even with a population of over 600,000 Louisville really does not have any major league teams that call it home. Louisville residents must travel to Indianapolis, Cincinnati or Nashville to see top level pro sports.
In Louisville the hottest ticket in town is for the Louisville Cardinals sports teams.