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Legal Online Sportsbooks Accept First Bets In Kentucky

Written By Derek Helling on September 28, 2023
Kentucky Launches Online Sports Betting

Kentucky is now officially among the majority of states with available options to bet on sports online legally. As of 6 a.m. local time Thursday, online sportsbooks in the state began accepting wagers in their apps.

While not all of the eight licensed apps are up and running, the seven available options provide more than enough choices for bettors in Kentucky looking to get their first legal online bets in. Several of those sportsbooks have some incentives for Kentuckians getting started, too.

Kentuckians kick off online betting Thursday morning

Even though sportsbooks got an early start on Thursday, it wasn’t too early for many Kentuckians who have been looking forward to getting bets down. Some notable Kentuckians shared that they took part at their first opportunities.


Part of the reason that some Kentuckians were able to get right on the action is that they were already signed up for accounts with the licensed apps. Five of the six currently available options in Kentucky have been accepting account signups and deposits for weeks.

While it’s too late to take advantage of the early registration bonuses they offered, those who are yet to open their accounts should stray from FOMO. The sportsbooks have great offers available to celebrate their Kentucky launches, too.

Online sportsbooks sweeten the deal for Kentuckians

While another app is pending launch in Kentucky, seven of them are now available for wagering. Those are:

  • Barstool Sportsbook
  • Bet365
  • BetMGM
  • Caesars
  • DraftKings
  • Fanatics
  • FanDuel

For those who haven’t done so yet, getting started with these apps is simple. Just download the appropriate app(s) onto your Android or iOS device. After opening the app(s), follow the prompts to register your account.

Once the account verifies your eligibility and identity, make a real-money deposit. That’s it. You’re now ready to bet on any of the available markets in the app(s) you selected.

To aid your decision-making process, Bet365 has a special deal built around Thursday night’s Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers game.

Bet365 offers 365 reasons to check out its app

Turning a single dollar into 365 of anything is quite a remarkable feat. Bet365 Sportsbook is offering new customers in Kentucky an opportunity to do exactly that right now and it’s easier than you imagine. The sportsbook is offering bonus bets worth $365 for all new customers who risk just $1 right now in Kentucky.

Simply open an account on Bet365 then make your first deposit. Take just one of those dollars you dropped into your account and bet it on an eligible market of your choice. Whether the sportsbook ultimately grades that bet a loss or a win, your account’s value will grow.

It’s important to note that all bonus bets are not real money. You cannot withdraw them from your account. They are only good in the app to place wagers with. Moreover, if you win any bets you place with them, your winnings will only include the profit from your wager, not the original bonus bet value.

Moving onto another of the apps up for your selection, the self-proclaimed King of Sportsbooks extends a royal welcome to Kentuckians.

BetMGM roars onto Kentucky sports bettors’ phones

Second chances are rare in life, especially when it comes to making first impressions. BetMGM Sportsbook offers new customers in Kentucky a shot at that rare phenomenon, though, when it comes to betting on sports.

New users can take advantage of BetMGM’s First Bet Offer, which could be worth as much as $1,500 in bonus bets. To get in on the deal, make your first real-money deposit and then select your first wager in the app.

If the book grades that first bet a loss, BetMGM will credit your account with bonus bets equal to your stake or $1,500, whichever is lesser. Should your bet win instead you will get your payout as quoted on your betting slip.

With all of these launch offers, it’s crucial for Kentuckians who took advantage of apps’ early registration offers to note that makes them ineligible for the same books’ launch day offers. Essentially, you can’t double-dip in this regard.

Should you decide to diversify your plays on Thursday, Caesars could aid you in your imperial ambitions.

Bonus bets hail Caesars’ arrival in Kentucky

Caesars Sportsbook is also offering to pad your account balance with some bonus bets in exchange for you taking some risk. Once again, this deal is just for bettors new to Caesars in Kentucky. It works much the same way as the above deal.

After signing up, deposit at least $50 into your account and then attach at least that much to a bet of your choice as your stake. Whether you win that wager or not, Caesars will credit your account with bonus bets worth $250.

DraftKings is hitting the ground running in Kentucky with offers for both customers and sports betting veterans.

DraftKings deals for Kentucky bettors both old and new

If you’ve already wagered with DraftKings Sportsbook in another state, you’re ineligible for the book’s new customer offer in Kentucky. There’s no need to fret, though. DraftKings has a launch day offer for all users in Kentucky in addition to its new customer bonus.

New DraftKings users can take advantage of DraftKings’ Bet $5 Get $200 in Bonus Bets offer. After signing up for the app, deposit at least $5 into your account, then wager at least that amount. Whether that bet loses or wins, DraftKings will credit your account with eight bonus bets worth $25 each.

In addition, DraftKings offers to match 20% of your first deposit (up to $1,000) with another $50 in bonus bets available for a total maximum value of $1,250.

For all users, DraftKings is offering a No Brainer promotion especially for Kentuckians. Just opt in to the promotion on the app and you will be get access to a special market only for the Thursday night Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers game.

The market is a proposition wager on whether either team will score a touchdown during the game, with odds of +100. That means if either team scores a single touchdown during the game, you double your money.

Fanatics wants to help you display your “fandom” as you press forward with betting on sports, giving you options for more than just what to wager on.

Fanatics offers merch credit for your first bet

You may be familiar with Fanatics due to its other products like apparel and memorabilia for sports fans. Fanatics’ introductory offer for new bettors in Kentucky builds upon that crossover appeal for fans.

To qualify for Fanatics’ new customer deal, sign up and then deposit at least $50 into your account. Then, select any betting market with odds of -500 or greater and stake at least $50 to that bet by 11:59 p.m. ET on Oct. 3.

Should you qualify, Fanatics will remit you a reward credit worth $150 for any purchase on That credit will be yours regardless of whether your first bet is a loss or win. The last app on this alphabetical list with special deals for new bettors in Kentucky is by no means the least. Many Kentuckians may find themselves fans of this book shortly.

FanDuel enters as serious contender in Kentucky

If you’re curious what FanDuel Sportsbook has to offer new customers in Kentucky, it’s a standard Bet $5, Get $200 in Bonus Bets offer that works exactly like the same deal at DraftKings. For all of these bonus bets on all five apps, it’s important to observe the terms.

The bonus bets often come with expiration dates, meaning if you don’t use them, you lose them. Furthermore, some of them come with parameters around what kinds of markets you can use them on. In-game wagers are an example of bets that books often exclude from such promotions.

It’s generally good advice to read the conditions and terms attached to every promotion so you know what you’re getting into before you commit your money. Perhaps the only thing that is more important to observe is gambling responsibly. These tips can help with that:

  • Be honest and open about your sports betting activity
  • Expect to lose, looking at your sports betting as an entertainment cost
  • Never consider wagering on sports a way to make money
  • Set limits both for the amount of money and time you will spend, then stick to them
  • Take a break if you start to make poor decisions like chasing losses or find yourself experiencing strong emotional reactions to the results of your wagers

With online sportsbooks now available in Kentucky, bettors can start to put those principles into practice.

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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is the assistant managing editor of PlayUSA. Helling focuses on breaking news, including finance, regulation, and technology in the gaming industry. Helling completed his journalism degree at the University of Iowa and resides in Chicago

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