Kentucky Casino Guide
Facts About Gambling & Online Casinos in Kentucky
Kentucky is a state rich in horse racing. It’s home to the world renowned Kentucky Derby, so it’s not surprising that the state has a bustling horse betting industry. Therefore, it might be surprising to learn that when it comes to casinos, you’re not going to find much. Kentucky does all it can to keep casinos and online gambling out of its borders, going as far getting a court order to seize more than 140 websites that linked to online casinos in Kentucky.
History of Gambling in Kentucky
Governor Wilkinson created the Kentucky Lottery Commission in 1988, and voters passed a referendum to create a lottery that same year. The Kentucky Lottery was official in December of 1988. When the lottery officially opened for sales a few months later, more than $5 million in tickets were sold. By the end of the first week, the lottery had taken in $27 million.
In 2008, Kentucky made its stance on online gambling clear. The State of Kentucky gained a court order from a Franklin County Circuit Judge to take control of 141 websites offering illegal online gambling in Kentucky. The companies who lost their websites were given the options of installing software that would block Kentucky players or give up their business.
Age Restrictions for Gambling in Kentucky
To bet on horses, purchase scratch off tickets, or buy lottery tickets in Kentucky, players must be at least 18 years of age. If you can find an online casino that accepts players from Kentucky or plan to head out of state, note that you must be 21.
Kentucky’s Casino Gambling Outlook
There is hope that Kentucky may one day legalize casinos, both land-based and online. Governor Steve Beshear was one of the first to bring up the potential revenues that could be gained by operating casinos within the state. While his measure failed, Will Scott, a former Kentucky Supreme Court Justice, is running for governor in 2016 and made it clear in 2015 that one of his goals will be to avoid raising taxes by bringing casinos into the state. With so many people crossing the state lines and gambling in casinos near Kentucky, it makes sense to try to keep some of that revenue in the state.
While you’ll be hard pressed to find a casino in Kentucky, there are many just over the borders. If you really want to stay in state, the lottery and horse betting at parks like Churchill Downs, Ellis Park, Keeneland, and Turfway Park are your options. For casinos, here are some of your closet locations.
Belterra Casino Resort & Spa – Belterra is a casino resort in Florence, Indiana, just under 90 minutes from Lexington, KY. More than 1,200 video slots, a video poker room, and a high-limit room are found here.
Horseshoe Southern Indiana – Located just 14 miles from Louisville, Kentucky, Horseshoe Southern Indiana Casino has a poker room with 30 tables, plenty of table games, and more than 1,700 slot machines.
Tropicana Evansville Casino – Bowling Green is under two hours from Indiana’s Tropical Evansville Casino. This riverboat casino houses a three-floor casino with more than 1,000 video slots, 40 table games, and a poker room.