Kentucky gambling laws are considered restrictive, allowing only for pari-mutuel wagering and a state-run lottery.
Kentucky Gambling Laws
Gambling in Kentucky is defined under the Penal Code (Chapter 528) as “staking or risking something of value upon the outcome of a contest, game, gaming scheme, or gaming device which is based upon an element of chance […].” Kentucky gambling laws are considered strict, especially when it comes to non-traditional gambling forms.
Pari-mutuel wagering and its electronic forms are the only explicitly legal types of gambling in Kentucky. Besides those, “a contest or game in which eligibility to participate is determined by chance and the ultimate winner is determined by skill shall not be considered to be gambling,” and is legal. Furthermore, allowed are charitable gambling events for fundraising purposes.
People engaging in gambling that doesn’t meet the stated criteria are violating Kentucky gambling laws. In 2016, the Kentucky legislature introduced a proposal that could lead to the legalization of Vegas-style casinos in Kentucky if citizens vote in favor of it. If the proposal becomes reality, Kentucky’s constitution will be amended to allow gambling.
Online Gambling in Kentucky
Even though Kentucky gambling laws don’t elaborate on online gambling, the activity has a straightforward definition. Some encourage players to play at offshore casinos, since the penalties are not that high (USD 50-100) and there’s no record of somebody being actually fined for it.
In 2010, the state filed a case against several gambling sites, including Amaya Group Holdings. They also attempted to seize the domain names of 141 online gambling sites. Franklin Circuit Judge, Thomas Wingate, fined Amaya USD 290 million. After the judgement, The Poker Players Alliance filed a motion to intervene, representing 14,000 Kentucky poker players.
“Our laws are very specific about what constitutes illegal gaming, and anything that promotes or supports illegal gaming in Kentucky is illegal,” said Jennifer Brislin, communications director for the Justice Cabinet, in 2008.
Lotteries in Kentucky
The Kentucky Lottery was the first in the US to be implemented as a corporation after Kentuckians voted in favor of its establishment in 1988. April 4, 1989, was the first day of sales and residents spent USD 5 million on lottery tickets. The Kentucky Lottery does “not offer the sale of lottery tickets over the Internet, through the phone, or by mail.” However, this option might be available in the near feature as the Kentucky legislature is planning the move since 2014. The lottery revenues go toward the state’s education system.
Daily Fantasy Sports in Kentucky
Daily Fantasy Sports in Kentucky are considered legal by most, since there’s no rule that would specifically outlaw them at the moment. The biggest Daily Fantasy Sports sites, like FanDuel and DraftKings, all accept Kentucky players without any problems.