Is Poker legal in Kentucky (ky)? Online Poker Laws in Kentucky Explained
- Online Poker is forbidden
- Live Poker is forbidden
- Online Casino is forbidden
- Sports Betting is forbidden
Can You Play Online Poker in Kentucky?
There is currently no legislation permitting online poker in the state.
Current Kentucky Gambling Laws
Kentucky has traditionally taken a hard stance against gambling outside of its three racinos and state-run lottery. The racinos are allowed to offer skill-based slot games with more traditional slot games relying solely on luck not permitted. Also allowed are pari-mutuel betting, bingo halls, horse racing, and dog racing.
The Bluegrass State has taken an even tougher stance against online gaming. In 2011, Kentucky attempted to "seize" Internet poker domain names for several popular online poker sites, claiming that they were the "sole owner of the property and entitled to possession." Three years earlier the state had attempted the same thing with 141 Internet gambling domain names in an attempt to "stop illegal Internet gambling that is occurring within the Commonwealth, in blatant disregard for and violation of Kentucky anti-gambling law and public nuisance law."
In June 2013, Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear announced the state would receive a settlement of just over $6 million from the 2008 case, which was filed on behalf of the Kentucky Justice and Public Safety Cabinet.
In 2015, Kentucky won a $870 million civil judgment against Amaya Inc. (now The Stars Group) resulting from PokerStars having operated in the state prior to 2011, but that judgment was reversed in 2018.
In 2019, a bill was introduced that would allow the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission to regulate online sports betting and daily fantasy sports and the Kentucky Lottery Commission to regulate online poker. Despite the bill having 21 co-sponsors across both parties, the bill was pushed back to 2020.
In 2022, House Bill 606 from Rep. Adam Koenig, “passed the chamber by a 58-30 vote to legalize, regulate and tax sports wagering in Kentucky”, so there’s hope for sports betting in Kentucky.
In 2023, for the fifth consecutive year, legislation was introduced for the regulation of online poker. House Bill 106, which focused on sports betting and daily fantasy sports as well as online poker, was sponsored by House Democrats Rep. Derrick Graham, Rep. Cherlynn Stevenson, and Rep. Rachel Roberts. The bill aims to exempt those online games from existing bans, and while it's still technically on the table, fears are that it'll follow in the footsteps of previous attempts and fall flat.
Best Online Poker Sites for Kentucky Players
None at present. But you can always play poker for free with the WSOP Social App.