Online Gaming in Kentucky

Kentucky has an interesting relationship with online gaming. Betting on horse races online and buying lottery tickets online are allowed. Other forms of gambling online are not.

In March 2013, the Kentucky Lottery Board voted unanimously to allow the sale of lottery games online. The board approved online lottery sales with the hopes that they would generate additional needed revenue for the state. Residents of Kentucky are currently able to buy lottery tickets at the Kentucky Lottery's website.

In September 2008, Kentucky Secretary of the Justice Michael Brown brought civil action against 141 online gambling domains, seeking seizure and forfeiture of internet domain names used to promote or provide illegal gambling within the state. After learning of the domain seizures, the Interactive Gaming Council (IGC) made a motion to intervene on behalf of the owners of the domains. A trial court rejected IGC's motion to intervene, but in February 2014, the Kentucky Court of Appeals ruled that the IGC could intervene, effectively bringing an end to the civil action.

On 12 February 2013, the Kentucky House Appropriations and Revenue Committee passed legislation authorizing a tax on advance deposit wagering. The bill intended to tax internet and telephone wagers made by Kentucky residents, but it failed in the Kentucky Senate.

To date, there is no Kentucky state tax on online and telephone horse racing wagers.

Kentucky became the first state in the U.S. to defeat a fantasy sports betting bill in 2017 when the Senate shot down H 414 just two weeks after its introduction in February. The bill had previously passed in the House with a narrow 37-36 vote.

HB 397 was introduced in September and withdrawn in March.

BR 155, introduced by Sen. Julian Carroll, calls for the institution of a sports wagering system and an amendment on current legislation to encourage wagering on sporting events, effectively legalizing fantasy sports.

In December 2018, Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear wrote a letter to members of the state’s General Assembly calling on lawmakers to pass legislation that would legalize gambling in order to create a dedicated source of revenue to support the state’s struggling pension funds.

Online gaming is still not legal in the State of Kentucky. All bills proposed to legalize sports wagering in the Bluegrass State have included online components.

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