Betting on Horse Racing in Kentucky in 2024

Kentucky is home to the most notable horse races in the world, and the state’s history with the sport dates back hundreds of years. Ever since the state’s earliest historical horse races, residents have been able to place a range of horse racing bets. As of September 2023, retail and online sports betting are also available.

Because of the state’s close relationship with horse racing, it should come as no surprise that wagering on horse racing is the only form of gambling that’s legal in the state. Kentucky residents can bet on the ponies in person at any of the state’s horse racing tracks, as well as off-track betting parlors. They can also wager on horse racing online with providers like TwinSpires and BetAmerica.

Residents of the state can also use Kentucky sports betting sites based offshore. There are currently no state or federal regulations preventing Kentucky residents from placing bets at an offshore gambling site or from winning money at them.

There are hundreds of offshore sportsbooks that also feature betting on horse racing. It can be tough to figure out which sites are trustworthy and safe. You’ll also want to find a site that is easy to use and offers access to races from around the world and a varied menu of betting options. The best racing sites will offer bonuses for signing up and remaining loyal, and, when it’s time to collect your winnings, payments will be fast, easy and in full.

Our experts have looked at dozens and dozens of online betting sites that allow customers to place bets on horse racing. We evaluated them on a number of important factors and ranked our choices for the 10 best racebooks in Kentucky. We also broke down our choices with the pros and cons of the highest-rated sites.

We’ll also go through the basics you need to know before you start betting on horses, including the difference between pari-mutuel wagering and fixed odds. And we’ll explain why placing your racing bets with an offshore sportsbook may be the best option available.

Guide Contents show list

Ranking the Top 10 Betting Sites for Horse Racing in Kentucky

Our experts evaluated and rated dozens of sportsbooks and compiled the following rankings. These are our choices for the 10 best horse racing betting sites in Kentucky: 

  1. BookMaker – Pros and rookies will find this the best all-around racebook in the state 
  2. Heritage Sports –VIP service for horse racing gamblers 
  3. Bovada – Racebook loyalty program is one of the best in Kentucky  
  4. BetOnline – Top rebate program for loyal customers 
  5. BetAnySports – Cashback and payout boosting programs for horse race players 
  6. BetUS – Video previews, analysis and picks help you determine winners for major races 
  7. WagerWeb – Same-day payouts for Bitcoin users 
  8. JustBet – Easy-to-navigate user interface and racecards  
  9. Everygame – Smooth user experience makes betting easy 
  10. SportsBetting – Among the largest betting limits in Kentucky 

All the online sportsbooks in our top 10 are located offshore. That means they are not under the jurisdiction of the state of Kentucky, and they are subject to the gambling laws in their own country and are exempt from U.S. gambling regulations.

The sites in our top 10 are more than just racebooks. They allow legal sports wagering on both professional and college sports, and most feature online casinos with slot and table games, as well as live dealer sections at many. Some of the sites offer live poker rooms, and some have other betting markets, like politics and entertainment, as well.  

While horse race betting is legal in Kentucky, racebooks in the state are not allowed to offer other forms of online gambling. Offshore sportsbooks allow you to do everything in one convenient place – a one-stop shop for your gaming needs. 

All the online racebooks in our top 10 have flawless reputations as safe, dependable gambling providers that you can trust with your money and personal information. They’ll also treat Kentucky bettors fairly. 

Reviewing the Best Kentucky Horse Racing Betting Sites 

Most of the sites in our top 10 rankings use the same software to run their racebooks. That means when you’re betting on races, the process will be very similar for each of them, no matter which one you pick. There are plenty of other categories where the best racebooks can differentiate themselves, however. They offer different lines and odds on races, vary in bonuses and promotions offered, and separate themselves from the pack with fast, dependable payouts and outstanding customer service.  

We take an in-depth look at what makes our top picks for best racebooks better than the rest of the pack with a detailed breakdown of the sites atop our rankings.  

1. BookMaker: Caters to All Levels of Kentucky Horse Players Racebook

The number one spot in our rankings was captured by It was the choice of our expert panel as the best all-around horse racing betting site in the state of Kentucky. BookMaker allows gamblers to wager on races from more than 50 tracks across North America, as well as some overseas races.  

BookMaker is one of the first racebooks to post odds. It also features an organized, easy-to-use site with a mobile platform that gives you the same experience as the full site when you bet races using your phone or tablet.  

BookMaker caters to horse racing players of all levels of experience and all levels of risk tolerance. Betting limits are high, which high rollers will like, but minimums are low, starting at $1, which is perfect for cautious new gamblers. Everyone will be able to find a level that suits their appetite for risk. BookMaker is also known for never shutting down a gambler on a winning roll.  

BookMaker’s promos include a rebate program that returns 3% of all of your losses on win, place and show bets on a daily basis. For exotic bets, it returns 8% of your losses. There are also plenty of welcome bonuses and Kentucky’s best loyalty programs.


  • Rebate program returns up to 8% of your racebook losses 
  • Fixed odds post earlier than other sites 
  • Caters to all levels of experience and risk appetite 
  • Easy-to-navigate user interface 


  • Professional gamblers don’t qualify for bonus and loyalty programs 
  • Does not offer much performance history for horses  

2. Heritage Sports: Best Mobile Racebook in Kentucky 

Heritage Sports Racebook

Heritage Sports finished second in our top 10 rankings. In its earliest days, Heritage Sports was an invite-only gambling site, but it eventually opened up to anyone who wanted to join. Despite that, it still gives its customers VIP service, including outstanding customer service and ongoing promotions for loyal gamblers. 

Heritage Sports’ racebook includes competition from more than 60 tracks, including racing action held in Ireland, the United Kingdom, Europe, Japan, Australia, Hong Kong and South Africa.  

The site has identified 16 major racing tracks, where limits on bets are as high as $1,000. At 14 other tracks listed on the next tier, Heritage Sports allows you to bet as much as $500.    

The mobile platform is easy to navigate and allows gamblers to place bets quickly. Pages load fast, and Heritage offers a similar betting experience on the phone and tablet as it does on the full site.  

Heritage Sports also features an online casino and a reduced juice sportsbook, giving you the chance to place all of your bets in one spot. 


  • VIP service for all horseplayers 
  • Pays full track odds for races at major tracks   
  • Best mobile racebook site in Kentucky 
  • Full-service site offers casino games and sportsbook


  • Welcome bonuses aren’t as large as other sites 
  • No live streaming of races 

3. Bovada: Top Notch Bonuses and Loyalty Program

Bovada Racebook

One area where offshore sportsbooks have an advantage over Kentucky companies that offer online racebooks is that they can offer a full range of gambling options, while customers at Kentucky-based sites can only bet on races.  

And no offshore site offers more different gambling options than Bovada. In addition to its outstanding online racebook, Bovada offers a full casino experience. Their sportsbook is one of the best in Kentucky, with more prop betting options than any other sports betting site. Bovada is also home to the busiest poker room in America. 

But it’s Bovada’s racebook that puts it in the third-place spot in our top 10. Bovada covers races from America, the U.K., Ireland, South Africa and Australia. Like the sportsbook, the racebook also has a large selection of betting options with a deep menu of futures betting to choose from for upcoming races.  

When it’s time for the big races on the calendar, Bovada is ready to let you be a high roller. It pays up to $100,000 on Triple Crown races and up to $30,000 on other major races during the year. There are other racing options available at Bovada, including novelty markets like virtual horse racing which allows you to bet on greyhounds and even camels. 

Bovada offers a competitive welcome bonus for horseplayers. They match 75% of your first deposit, up to $750, and the rollover requirement is much lower than the competition. There are also a number of Bovada promo codes which are available. They also have a points-based loyalty program that rewards sports and race betting. 


  • Loyalty program is one of the best in Kentucky 
  • Pays up to $100,000 for big races 
  • Outstanding casino games section, sportsbook and poker room 
  • Huge menu of betting options including racing futures and virtual racing


  • No rebate program to help mitigate losses 
  • No performance data on horses to help handicap races 

4. BetOnline: Top Racing Rebate Program in KY 

BetOnline racebook

BetOnline was the choice of our blue-ribbon panel of experts for the horse racing gambling site that has the best rebate program in Kentucky. BetOnline gives you back 4% of the amount you wagered on straight horse racing bets (win, place or show) and 9% back on exotic bets. That’s a percentage of the total amount you’ve bet, regardless of whether you won or lost.  

The racebook offers events from the U.S., Australia, the U.K., Ireland, France, South Africa and Japan, as well as Swedish harness racing. For the biggest races on the schedule, like the legs of the Triple Crown races and the Breeders Cup, BetOnline posts its odds and futures several weeks ahead of time to get you ready for the big day. And the odds are usually the most favorable ones you’ll find.  

BetOnline also has a sportsbook with opinionated lines, an online casino and an excellent poker room.

Their welcome bonus matches your first deposit up to $1,000, but it can’t be spent on horse racing wagers. They do offer a $25 risk-free horse bet for signing up, and users can always find new promo codes at BetOnline.


  • Top rebate program in Kentucky, giving back 4% on straight bets and 9% on exotics 
  • Odds for Triple Crown and Breeders Cup are posted weeks ahead of time 
  • $25 risk-free horse race bet for new customers 
  • A whole gamut of betting options in one place 


  • Welcome bonus can’t be applied to horse race betting 
  • Some transactions are charged fees 

5. BetAnySports: Reduced Juice Sportsbook With Reliable Racebook

BetAnySports Homepage

BetAnySports is the latest offshore online sportsbook to earn an A+ rating from our panel of experts. It was recently bumped up from an A grade.  

Despite the name, you can do more than just bet sports at BetAnySports. The site also allows you to bet on horse races and casino games.  

BetAnySports’ racebook features action from most major tracks, both in the United States and elsewhere. It has very high win limits and also offers a cash rebate program that starts at 3% on straight bets and 6% on exotics. The rebate is paid for the total amount bet, regardless of whether the best won or lost, and it can go as high as 9% of all of your betting volume.

BetAnySports also has a “Plus 10%” promotion at the racebook, which gives you an additional 10% on top of your payout. It’s only available on select tracks, however.

Outside of racing, BetAnySports has a reduced juice sportsbook that provides the best value in Kentucky.   

BetAnySports also gives you flexibility on your welcome bonus. While some sites limit where the bonus can be spent, BetAnySports doesn’t have any strings attached to their money, meaning you can spend it in the racing section. They match 25% of your initial deposit, up to $500 in bonus funds. The rollover requirement is low, too, although they also attach a rollover to your deposit.


  • Highly rated value sportsbook known for reduced juice 
  • Cash rebate of 3% on straight bets, 6% on exotics, win or lose, and it can go as high as 9% 
  • 10% program boosts your payout at some tracks 
  • Welcome bonus can be used at racebook 


  • Website not as smooth and polished as competition 
  • Attaches a rollover requirement to deposited money 

The Best Sites for Horse Racing That Kentucky has to Offer Compared 

Our top 10 rankings are based on the features for horse racing betting at each of the respective sites. However, when picking the site you want to use, it’s worth also considering what else can be done at the site. Most of the online betting sites in our top 10 offer far more than just horse racing gambling. They also offer legal sports betting, online casinos and some have a live poker room.

Being able to do all of that in one place is beneficial, especially in a state like Kentucky, where companies based in the state are prohibited from offering most or all of the non-racing options, either live or online.  

While we paid attention to the non-racing options available, the horse race betting experience is what ultimately earned each site its position in the top 10. Here’s a look at some of the factors we considered in compiling our rankings.   

Horse Racing Fixed Odds 

Fixed-odds betting is one of the most popular ways to wager on horse racing. We looked for sites that posted odds early, offering time to prepare to bet on major races like the legs of the Triple Crown and the Breeders’ Cup Classic. We also looked for sites that had betting odds more favorable than the competition.

Horse Racing Betting Markets

There are two categories of horse race betting: Straight bets and exotics.   

A straight bet refers to picking one horse in one race. You can bet on the horse to finish first (win), first or second (place) or first, second or third (show) in a race. The payout is obviously higher if you bet to win. 

Exotics are combination bets that involve multiple horses, either in a single race or across several races. 

Some common exotics are: 

  • Exacta: You pick the top two finishers, in order, for a race.
  • Trifecta: You must pick the top three finishers, in order.
  • Superfecta: Requires you to pick the top four finishers, in order. Super High Five is the top five.
  • Boxed Exacta: Also known as an Exacta Box, you pick multiple horses to finish in the top two spots in a single race. Classically, it would be picking two horses to finish in the top two in either order (straight exactas require you to also pick the order), but you can structure the box to include three or more horses, and if any combination of them finish in the top two, you win. There are also Trifecta Boxes. 
  • Daily Double: You pick the winners of two races in a row. It’s not two separate bets –The bets are linked, like on a sports parlay, so you only win if you pick the winners in both races. Three races would be a Pick 3, and so on. These can be trickier to win but offer higher payouts than betting on a single race. 

Live Horse Racing Betting 

Some racing sites offer live simulcasts of races, so you can watch the race online. It allows you to root for your bets while the race is going on and lets you know immediately whether you finish in the money.  

Horse Racing Betting Promotions 

Most horse racing sites offer different promotions to their customers. One of the most popular promos is a rebate, which gives you back a portion of what you lose betting. Some rebate programs return a percentage of everything you wager, regardless of whether you win or lose. 

Usually, exotic bets earn a higher percentage rebate than straight bets. Some sites also offer risk-free bets, which return the amount of your bet if you lose.  

Special Features for Horse Racing 

Picking winning horses takes a bit of homework. You’ll need to review the bloodlines of the horses in the race and their performance history, as well as the jockeys riding them. 

To help you analyze the field, many of the top online racebooks in Kentucky give you the data, including performance and bloodline information. The Kentucky-based sites that are solely dedicated to online horse betting, like TwinSpires, provide the most data, but offshore sportsbooks also provide some to help support their customers. 

Horse Racing Welcome Bonus 

Every online racebook offers a welcome bonus of some type for new customers. The most common welcome bonus is to match some bonus amount of your initial deposit. Since the sites in our top 10 have many types of gambling in addition to the racebook, some welcome bonuses are earmarked for other areas of the site. You’ll need to double-check to make sure the bonus can be spent at the racebook and isn’t limited to the sportsbook or casino.   

User-Friendly Design 

It should be easy to find your way around the user interface, especially when there is a busy slate of races around the world on a given day. Gamblers need to be able to quickly find the track race and horse they want to bet on without too much hunting and clicking. It should be fast and easy to place bets, and the mobile betting platform should offer a similar experience to the full site. 

Best Kentucky Horse Racing Betting Sites 

The factors we just outlined were the areas where our top-rated online betting sites excelled. Below, we discuss some of the requirements that a site has to have in order to even be considered. If a site was missing any one of these traits, it was dropped from consideration for our rankings quickly. Each racebook in our top 10 performs well in the following areas:

Brand Reputation 

The top racebooks for residents of Kentucky have all been in business for a long time and have a well-deserved reputation for treating customers fairly. They also have long histories of paying out on time and in full. The oldest sites can boast nearly 30 years in the business. Every site in the top 10 has a reputation for fairness and trustworthiness.

Payment Options 

The top-rated racebooks in the state have a wide range of banking methods available. The list includes credit and debit card transactions, bank transfers, e-wallets, like Skrill and cryptocurrency options. Payments should be processed quickly, and there shouldn’t be exorbitant fees charged. Payouts should be fast and easy.   

Safety & Security 

Every racebook in the rankings has a clean safety record. A security lapse would be the fastest way to be dropped from consideration immediately. You can trust the sites in our top 10 with your money and personal information.   

Speed & Ease of Use 

Betting odds and breaking news about horses in the field for a race can change right up until the start of the race. That means you might be waiting to place your bet until the horses are headed out to the starting gate for post time, which makes it important to be able to place your bet quickly. The sites in our top 10 all quickly and efficiently process bet requests. Pages must load quickly, and there can be no glitches, delays or crashes.

Customer Service 

The sites in our rankings all have help available if you have any questions or problems with the betting process. Most of the top sites have customer service that’s available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with representatives available in multiple languages. There should be different ways to get support, including phone, online chat, and email. Hold times should be short and the agents should be professional and capable. 

Overall Value 

A site’s value depends on which factors you think are important. Some customers want a site that offers the most generous promotions and the biggest bonuses. Other gamblers put more of a priority on the non-racing options available at the site. Our experts use their detailed review criteria to present you with the best options, but it’s up to you to decide what’s most important to you and find a site that matches it.  

One of the most frequent questions we get is, “Is betting on horse racing legal in Kentucky?” The answer is yes.

Kentucky is home to the world’s most famous horse race, the Kentucky Derby, so it should come as no surprise that the state is welcoming to the sport and the opportunity to bet on it.  

The catch is that betting on horse racing is the only type of gambling that’s legal in the state. So online racebooks based in Kentucky only offer that one specific type of betting. You can’t place bets on other sports, play casino games or go to a live online poker room.  

Kentucky Horse Racing Betting Guide – Learn to Bet on Horse Races in Kentucky 

The best way to bet online on horse races in Kentucky is through one of our top-rated sportsbooks. Topping our list are: 

  • BookMaker 
  • Heritage Sports 
  • Bovada 
  • BetOnline 
  • BetAnySports 

In addition to racebooks, all five A+ sites offer sportsbooks, as well as online casino games. Legal offshore sports betting sites also feature wagering on esports, entertainment, and politics. Some of the sites also have online poker rooms. 

Kentucky Horse Racing – What Bettors Must Know 

There are two primary ways to bet on horse races: Fixed odds and using the pari-mutuel system.  

Fixed odds are usually reserved for major races like the three legs of the Triple Crown, the Breeder’s Cup, and the Santa Anita Derby. 

Fixed odds are similar to betting on futures in other sports. The horses in the field are listed with their respective odds of winning. Bettors choose the horse they think will win, place or show, and know ahead of time exactly how much their bet will pay if they’re successful. People comfortable with sportsbooks will be familiar with this method of betting and may not have considered that there could be a different way to structure a betting pool.

Smaller tracks and less popular races –meaning just about every race available to bet on except for a few extremely well-known races each year– calculate payouts on a pari-mutuel basis. 

In pari-mutuel betting, all the money bet on each market goes into a large pool. The racing industry takes a cut off the top of the pool, and the rest of the money is split among the winning tickets, weighted by the amount of each winning wager. That means you won’t know the exact amount you’ll win until after the race is over and you cash in your ticket.  

Horse Racing Betting Odds 

For fixed-odds races, there are two different ways to present the odds for the race: the American format and the fractional format. 

Fixed Odds for Horse Racing Betting in Kentucky 

The American format is basically moneyline betting for sporting events. There will be a number with a plus or minus sign after each horse in the race. If the number has a plus sign, it tells you how much you would win (in profit) on a $100 bet.  

  • +500 means that a $100 bet would win you $500. You’d also get back the $100 you put down to begin with, so your payout amount would be $600.

The higher the number after the plus sign is, the bigger your payout and the less likely it is that the horse (or team, since most American team sports use this format) will win. 

If you don’t bet $100, the payout is scaled based on that ratio. So if you bet $10 on a +500, you earn $50 in profit.  

When the number starts with a minus sign, it tells you how much you’d have to bet to win $100.

  • A -110 means that you’d have to risk $110 on a bet in order to earn $100 in profit on a win.

Minus signs are reserved for heavy favorites. Because there are so many horses in a race, it’s rare to find a horse with a minus sign.  

Fractional odds are the more common way to list horse racing fixed odds. You multiply your bet amount by the fraction to calculate your potential profit. 

  • A horse with 7/2 odds would earn $350 profit on a $100 bet. (100 x 7/2 = 350) 

Pari-Mutuel Betting in Kentucky 

Pari-mutuel betting is the most common type of horse race betting. If you’ve only bet on other sports, which, as we said, are more similar to fixed odds betting, pari-mutuel takes some getting used to. 

Your bet goes into a pool of money. The racing industry is paid a portion of the pool for its work in organizing the race, and then the remaining winnings are divided up equally (based on the wager amount) among the winners. Tracks and racebooks can generally estimate the potential payout prior to the start of the race, but the final amount of your winnings will be up in the air until you after the race is over and the payout is calculated.  

Pool Betting on Kentucky Horse Races 

You may sometimes hear the term “pool betting” for selected races. This is just another term that means the same as pari-mutuel betting, where the wagers are put into one pool and then distributed.   

Horse Racing Bet Types Explained 

Win: The most common type of bet. It requires you to pick the horse you think will win the race. 

Place: Your bet pays off if the horse you bet on finishes in the top two. The payout for a place is smaller than a Win bet.

Show: Your bet pays off if the horse you pick finishes in the top three spots. The payout is smaller than a place bet.   

Exacta: To make an exacta bet, you pick two horses to finish, exactly, in first and second. You need to pick the two horses and their order. If you want the top two horses, regardless of order, you’d need an Exacta Box.  

Trifecta: You pick the top three finishers in order. You can also do a Trifecta Box.   

Superfecta: You pick the top four finishers in order.   

Daily Double: A two-race parlay. You pick the winners of consecutive races. Both horses need to win for your bet to pay off.

Pick 3/4/5/6: Similar to a Daily Double but with three, four, five, or six consecutive races. 

Kentucky Horse Racing Betting Terms 

Over the years, the horse racing industry has evolved its own language. Here’s a brief glossary of terms

  • Across the Board : Putting three bets on the same horse– to win, to place, and to show. If the horse finishes first, all three bets will pay off. 
  • At the Post: The horses are lining up to start the race, and, just as importantly, betting windows are about to close. 
  • Blinders: Restrict a horse’s field of vision. The horse will typically wear them if it is easily distracted. 
  • Claiming Race: A race where every horse in the field is up for sale. 
  • Dead Heat: Two or more horses finish in a tie. 
  • DQ: A horse has been disqualified for some type of foul or infraction. 
  • Exotic Bet: Bets that involve multiple horses and combine multiple outcomes, such as an exacta or trifecta. 
  • Favorite: The horse that is believed to have the best chance of winning, according to bookmakers. It will also have the lowest potential payout. 
  • Fixed Odds: Published odds stating exactly how much a winning bet will pay out. 
  • Furlong:  One-eighth of a mile. Often the way race distances are reported 
  • Length: Refers to the full length of a horse. It’s used to describe a horse’s lead or margin of victory (i.e. he won by three lengths). If less than a horse’s length separates two competitors, other measurements that can be used are a head, a neck, or a nose. 
  • Morning Line: The track handicapper’s estimate of what the pari-mutuel payout will be. 
  • Pari-Mutuel Wagering: The primary method used for horse racing payouts. All money wagered goes into a pool, which is split between winners. 
  • Purse: The total prize money awarded to the owners of the horses in a race. The winning horse earns its owner the largest slice. 
  • Tote Board: A digital board at the track that highlights the payouts for each market on the most recent race. 
  • Triple Crown: The three leading races for three-year-old horses in America: the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes. 

Kentucky Horse Racing Betting Calculator 

A fixed-odds bet is just like a bet in any sportsbook market. You’ll get a slip telling you exactly what the payout will be if your bet wins. With pari-mutuel betting, however, the amount of a winning bet won’t be known until after the race. 

You can, however, try to figure out your potential winnings by looking at the percentage of money wagered on your horse and converting that into a probability. 

Kentucky Horse Racing Odds Chart: 

The following chart shows the odds (American and fractional) and payout for a $2 bet at different levels.

Horse Racing Odds$2 Wager PayoutImplied Probability of Winning
1/5 (-500)$2.4083.33%
1/4 (-400)$2.5080%
1/3 (-300)$2.6075%
1/2 (-200)$3.0066.67%
4/6 (-150)$3.3360%
1/1 (-100)$4.0050%
2/1 (+200)$6.0033.33%
3/1 (+300)$8.0025%
5/1 (+500)$1216.67%
10/1 (+1000)$229.00%
50/1 (+5000)$1021.96%

Kentucky Horse Race Tracks 

Kentucky is home to some of the most famous races, and tracks, in the world. Here are the five must-see Kentucky tracks.   

Churchill Downs

Home of the famous Spires in Louisville and the host of the annual Kentucky Derby as well as the Oaks, the Clark Handicap and the Stephen Foster Handicap.


A Lexington race track, also known for its annual thoroughbred sales. The Blue Grass Stakes, Jenny Wiley Stakes and Shadwell Turf Mile are some of the most well-known races at Keeneland.  

Kentucky Downs

Located in Franklin, it is the only “European-style” turf course in North America. It’s home to the annual Kentucky Turf Cup.

Ellis Park

Owned by Churchill Downs, it’s located in Henderson County. The Gardenia Stakes is the premier race on its calendar.  

Turfway Park

Located in Florence, this was the first artificial turf track in North America, with a synthetic Polytrack surface. It’s home to the Spiral Stakes, better known by its old name, the Jim Beam Stakes.  

Kentucky Horse Racing Betting Bonuses 

Here’s a look at the different types of bonuses offered by racebooks. 

Welcome Bonuses 

Just about every offshore sportsbook has a welcome bonus for new customers. It’s the most common bonus given out. Some bonuses are specific to one area of a site, such as the sportsbook or casino, while others can be used at the racebook. In addition to the amount of the bonus, it’s important to be aware of any rollover requirements, which say how many times the bonus amount must be wagered before you can withdraw the money.

For instance, a 5X rollover on a $1,000 bonus means you can’t withdraw the bonus money until you’ve bet at least $5,000 (five times the bonus). Most often, welcome offers come in the form of deposit matches, where a site will match your initial deposit.

Free Bets 

Sometimes referred to as a risk-free bet or bet insurance. If you lose the bet, the money you bet will be refunded, usually in the form of a credit for a future bet. If you win, you get to keep it, just like with a regular bet.   


This is a program to reward and retain existing customers. There is usually some type of way to track your activity, like a points system. You are rewarded with bonuses or other perks based on how often you wager. 


Another way to reward loyal customers. The site returns a portion of what you’ve lost as a cash rebate or site credit. Some sites offer rebates on your betting volume, meaning even your winning bets earn cash back.   

History of Horse Racing Betting in Kentucky

February 2023: HB 551 was introduced by Kentucky’s Republican Representative Michael Lee Meredith, which aims to legalize and regulate live sports betting and permit users to create online betting accounts. Moreover, the bill proposes granting regulatory authority over gaming businesses to the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission.
2023: House Bill 106 has been proposed to legalize online sports betting and online poker in Kentucky and its support is coming from Derrick Graham, Cherlynn Stevenson and Rachel Roberts. The bill also suggests regulating fantasy sports, which are currently in a grey area.
2019: A bill to legalize sports betting is introduced in the Kentucky Legislature but fails to pass. The bill would have allowed for both in-person and online sports betting, with a tax rate of 10% on sports betting revenue.
2018: The U.S. Supreme Court strikes down a federal law that prohibited sports betting in most states, paving the way for individual states to legalize sports betting. Kentucky does not immediately take action to legalize sports betting.
1988: The U.S. Congress passes the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, which allows Native American tribes to operate casinos on their lands. Kentucky does not have any federally recognized tribes, so this law has no direct impact on the state.
1933: The Kentucky Legislature legalizes pari-mutuel betting on horse racing.
1875: The first Kentucky Derby is held at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky, marking the beginning of horse racing’s prominence in the state.

Bonus Terms and Conditions at Kentucky Horse Racing Betting Sites   

Bonuses are advertised as if they are free money, but many have strings attached. There may be minimum deposit requirements or bet amounts in order to be eligible for them. There also will likely be an expiration date for the bonus money, as well as rollover requirements which can be extremely high.   

Rollover Requirements

This refers to how many times you need to play your bonus money before you can withdraw it. For instance, Bovada has a relatively low 6x rollover requirement. That means you have to wager six times as much money as you’ve received as a bonus before you can cash it out. For instance, if you get a $100 bonus, you need to play at least $600. Some rollovers are as high as 30x, meaning you’d have to bet $3,000 to withdraw your $100 bonus. 

Virtual Horse Racing Betting in Kentucky

There are races going on around the world seemingly all the time, but if you can’t find one you want to bet on, some sites offer simulated horse races that are based on random number generators. It’s similar to video slot machines, where you are betting on computerized versions of something in real life.

Since there aren’t actual animals running, some sites get creative with the races and feature dogs or even camels running the race, instead of horses.  

Kentucky Horse Racing Betting Apps

More online bets are placed on mobile devices, such as phones or tablets, than on computers. To make it easy to bet on the go, some sites offer mobile apps you can download. 

Kentucky Horse Racing Betting Apps for iPhone

iPhone users can download apps for Kentucky’s top race betting sites at the App Store. If a site doesn’t offer an app, it likely has a mobile-optimized platform you can use through your internet browser just by entering the site’s URL address. 

Kentucky Horse Racing Betting Apps for Android

Android users can go to the Google Play Store to search for the app from their favorite race betting site. As with iPhone devices, if a site doesn’t offer an app, you can use their mobile-optimized site from your internet browser.    

Tips to Start Betting at Horse Racing Sites for Kentuckians

Registering a new account at a racebook is faster and easier than you might think. The whole process should only take a few minutes.

  • Go to BookMaker, our top-rated site, or another site in our top 10 that you’ve decided is right for you
  • Hit the “Join Now” button. Fill out the registration form with your personal information, like your name and email address. You might need to verify by having a code sent to your phone.
  • Choose a deposit method and enter your information and the amount of your deposit. Be sure to put in the promo code if your welcome offer requires one.  
  • Find “Racebook” at the top of the page and then browse the upcoming races.
  • In order to place a straight wager, just check the win, place or show box next to the horse you want to bet.
  • Use the separate tabs to create an exacta, trifecta, or superfecta.
  • Type the amount you want to wager and click “Place Bet.”

That’s it! Good luck!

Other Gambling Options in Kentucky

We chose sites in our top 10 that all offer other forms of gambling, outside of the racebook. That allows you to have an all-in-one location for all your betting needs. Most of the sites have a sportsbook and online casino games such as slots and roulette. Many also offer an online poker room.

What is the best sportsbook for horse racing betting in Kentucky?

Our panel of experts recommends as the best online horse betting site in Kentucky. However, we’re confident that any of the sites in our top 10 will give you a safe, dependable and enjoyable user experience.  

FAQs – Online Horse Racing Betting in Kentucky

Is horse betting in Kentucky legal? 

Kentucky is a state with a huge horse industry, so it is only natural that this type of betting would be legal. Bettors who reside in the state have a plethora of options when it comes to choosing a racebook provider.

Can you bet on horse racing in Kentucky online?

You can place pari-mutuel wagers at horse race tracks in Kentucky or you can visit any one of the top online horse racing betting sites we have recommended here.

What is the largest horse race in Kentucky?

The largest horse race in Kentucky is the Kentucky Derby, which occurs annually on the first Saturday in May. This Triple Crown race is the biggest event in the horse industry worldwide.

Are there any mobile apps to bet on horse racing in Kentucky?

Online horse race betting is easy to do with your mobile device. All of the top providers that we have covered here have fully optimized mobile racebooks that are convenient and easy to use.

Where can you bet on horse racing in Kentucky?

You can bet in person at the racing track or by visiting one of our highly-rated online horse racing betting sites.

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