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Online sports betting goes live in Kentucky

Here’s a primer on sports betting, on the eve of its online legalization in KY


Derby City Gaming Downtown is set to open later this year, but you can bet in the meantime — online and mobile betting goes live on Thursday.| Rendering provided by Churchill Downs

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Kentucky has had legalized sports betting for almost three weeks — and online and mobile wagering starts Thursday, Sept. 28. Here’s a quick look at what to know:

What’s new

Previously, horse racing was the only sport Kentuckians could place bets on, but now the world of wagering is open to a whole gamut of sports. Anyone 18+ can place a bet online through approved online sportsbooks — including major companies like FanDuel, DraftKings and BetMGM, among others.

In-person betting

In-person sports betting began on Sept. 7, allowing Kentuckians to wager on sports like the NBA, NFL, college football and basketball. Here are a few places in Louisville to go:

Churchill Downs | 700 Central Ave.
The home of the Kentucky Derby opened its in-person sportsbook earlier this month, offering a wall of screens to watch the action.

Derby City Gaming & Hotel | 4520 Poplar Level Rd.
This gaming hall and hotel opened in 2018, and just added a sportsbook, which includes a 300-ft video board.

Coming Soon: Derby City Gaming Downtown | 140 S. 4th St.
Located in downtown Louisville, it’s set to open this December.

Terms to know

  • The Point Spread — AKA “the line": You’re betting on how many points one team will win (or lose) by in a game. Louisville is a three-point favorite this weekend, so if you bet on the Cards to win, you’re saying that they will win by more than three points.
  • Parlay: This is when you combine multiple bets. Think: I bet that Louisville will win and that Kentucky will lose on Saturday (sorry LEXToday). All parts of the bet have to be correct for you to win.
  • Over/under: You’re betting on the the total number of points in a game. If you think there will be lots of touchdowns this weekend, take the over.

Be responsible

As Kenny Rogers sang, “You gotta know when to fold ‘em, know when to walk away.”

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