Kentucky Online Gambling Laws
Kentucky gaming laws are confusing when it comes to online gambling. Even though it’s obvious that Kentucky is against unregulated Internet gambling, the actual legalities of gambling online from the state aren’t very clear. In 2011 Kentucky attempted to seize several gambling websites that were accepting bets from Kentucky residents. So it’s clear that Kentucky is against online gambling, but they have yet to write a law that specifically bans gambling online for money.
For those who looking for gambling sites that accept Kentucky residents, we’ve created a list of the most popular sites. All of our suggested sites are highly recommended, safe, secure, legitimate, and offer a multitude of games and other options. In addition, we would like to point out that we are not attorneys and if you would like more detailed information about Kentucky online gambling laws, we recommend contacting an attorney for a consultation.
Kentucky Gambling Laws
Definitions for chapter –
The following definitions apply in this chapter unless the context otherwise requires:
(1) “Advancing gambling activity” — A person “advances gambling activity” when, acting other than as a player, he engages in conduct that materially aids any form of gambling activity. The conduct shall include, but is not limited to, conduct directed toward the establishment of the particular game, contest, scheme, device, or activity involved; toward the acquisition or maintenance of premises, paraphernalia, equipment, or apparatus therefor; toward the solicitation or inducement of persons to participate therein; toward the actual conduct of the playing phases thereof; toward the arrangement of any of its financial or recording phases or toward any other phase of its operation. A person who gambles at a social game of chance on equal terms with other participants does not otherwise advance gambling activity by performing acts, without remuneration or fee, directed toward the arrangement or facilitation of the game as inviting persons to play, permitting the use of premises therefor and supplying equipment used therein.
(2) “Bookmaking” means advancing gambling activity by unlawfully accepting bets upon the outcome of future contingent events from members of the public as a business.
(3) (a) “Gambling” means 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, in accord with an agreement or understanding that someone will receive something of value in the event of a certain outcome. 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.
(b) Gambling shall not mean charitable gaming which is licensed and regulated under the provisions of KRS Chapter 238.
(4) “Gambling device” means:
(a) Any so-called slot machine or any other machine or mechanical device an essential part of which is a drum or reel with insignia thereon, and which when operated may deliver, as a result of the application of an element of chance, any money or property, or by the operation of which a person may become entitled to receive, as the result of the application of an element of chance, any money or property; or
(b) Any other machine or any mechanical or other device, including but not limited to roulette wheels, gambling tables and similar devices, designed and manufactured primarily for use in connection with gambling and which when operated may deliver, as the result of the application of an element of chance, any money or property, or by the operation of which a person may become entitled to receive, as the result of the application of an element of chance, any money or property;
(c) But, the following shall not be considered gambling devices within this definition:
1. Devices dispensing or selling combination or French pools on licensed, regular racetracks during races on said tracks.
2. Electro-mechanical pinball machines specially designed, constructed, set up, and kept to be played for amusement only. Any pinball machine shall be made to receive and react only to the deposit of coins during the course of a game. The ultimate and only award given directly or indirectly to any player for the attainment of a winning score or combination on any pinball machine shall be the right to play one (1) or more additional games immediately on the same device at no further cost. The maximum number of free games that can be won, registered, or accumulated at one (1) time in operation of any pinball machine shall not exceed thirty (30) free games. Any pinball machine shall be made to discharge accumulated free games only by reactivating the playing mechanism once for each game released. Any pinball machine shall be made and kept with no meter or system to preserve a record of free games played, awarded, or discharged. Nonetheless, a pinball machine shall be a gambling device if a person gives or promises to give money, tokens, merchandise, premiums, or property of any kind for scores, combinations, or free games obtained in playing the pinball machine in which the person has an interest as owner, operator, keeper, or otherwise.
3. Devices used in the conduct of charitable gaming.
(5) “Lottery and gift enterprise” means:
(a) A gambling scheme in which:
1. The players pay or agree to pay something of value for chances, represented and differentiated by numbers or by combinations of numbers or by some other media, one (1) or more of which are to be designated the winning ones; and
2. The ultimate winner is to be determined by a drawing or by some other method based upon the element of chance; and
3. The holders of the winning chances are to receive something of value.
(b) A gift enterprise or referral sales plan which meets the elements of a lottery listed in paragraph (a) of this subsection is to be considered a lottery under this chapter.
(6) “Mutuel” or “the numbers games” means a form of lottery in which the winning chances or plays are not determined upon the basis of a drawing or other act on the part of persons conducting or connected with the scheme, but upon the basis of the outcome or outcomes of a future contingent event or events otherwise unrelated to the particular scheme.
(7) “Player” means a person who engages in any form of gambling solely as a contestant or bettor, without receiving or becoming entitled to receive any profit therefrom other than personal gambling winnings, and without otherwise rendering any material assistance to the establishment, conduct, or operation of the particular gambling activity. A person who engages in “bookmaking” as defined in subsection (2) of this section is not a “player.” The status of a “player” shall be a defense to any prosecution under this chapter.
(8) “Profiting from gambling activity” — A person “profits from gambling activity” when, other than as a player, he accepts or receives or agrees to accept or receive money or other property pursuant to an agreement or understanding with any person whereby he participates or is to participate in the proceeds of gambling activity.
(9) “Something of value” means any money or property, any token, object, or article exchangeable for money or property, or any form of credit or promise directly or indirectly contemplating transfer of money or property or of any interest therein, or involving extension of a service, entertainment, or a privilege of playing at a game or scheme without charge.
(10) “Charitable gaming” means games of chance conducted by charitable organizations licensed and regulated under the provisions of KRS Chapter 238.
Promoting gambling in the first degree –
(1) A person is guilty of promoting gambling in the first degree when he knowingly advances or profits from unlawful gambling activity by:
(a) Engaging in bookmaking to the extent that he employs or utilizes three or more persons in a bookmaking activity and receives or accepts in any one day bets totaling more than $500; or
(b) Receiving in connection with a lottery or mutuel scheme or enterprise:
1. Money or written records from a person other than a player whose chances or plays are represented by such money or records; or
2. More than $500 in any one day of money played in the scheme or enterprise; or
(c) Setting up and operating a gambling device.
(2) Promoting gambling in the first degree is a Class D felony.
Promoting gambling in the second degree –
(1) A person is guilty of promoting gambling in the second degree when he knowingly advances or profits from unlawful gambling activity.
(2) Promoting gambling in the second degree is a Class A misdemeanor.
Conspiracy to promote gambling –
(1) A person is guilty of conspiracy to promote gambling when he conspires to advance or profit from gambling activity.
(2) “Conspire” means to engage in activity constituting a criminal conspiracy as defined in KRS 506.040.
(3) Conspiracy to promote gambling is a Class D felony. Effective:
Possession of gambling records in the first degree –
(1) A person is guilty of possession of gambling records in the first degree when, with knowledge of the contents thereof, he possesses any writing, paper, instrument or article of a kind commonly used:
(a) In the operation or promotion of a bookmaking scheme or enterprise and constituting, reflecting or representing bets totaling more than $500; or
(b) In the operation, promotion or playing of a lottery or mutuel scheme or enterprise and constituting, reflecting or representing more than 500 plays or chances therein.
(2) It shall be a defense to any prosecution under this section that:
(a) The writing, paper, instrument or article possessed by the defendant constituted, reflected or represented bets of the defendant himself in a number not exceeding ten (10); or
(b) The writing, paper, instrument or article possessed by the defendant was neither used nor intended to be used in the operation or promotion of a bookmaking scheme or enterprise, or in the operation, promotion, or playing of a lottery or mutuel scheme or enterprise.
(3) Possession of gambling records in the first degree is a Class D felony.
Possession of gambling records in the second degree –
(1) A person is guilty of possession of gambling records in the second degree when, with knowledge of the contents thereof he possesses any writing, paper, instrument or articles of a kind commonly used:
(a) In the operation or promotion of a bookmaking scheme or enterprise; or
(b) In the operation, promotion or playing of a lottery or mutuel scheme or enterprise.
(2) It shall be a defense to any prosecution under this section that: (a) The writing, paper, instrument, or article possessed by the defendant constituted, reflected, or represented bets of the defendant himself in a number not exceeding ten (10); or
(b) The writing, paper, instrument, or article possessed by the defendant was neither used nor intended to be used in the operation or promotion of a bookmaking scheme or enterprise, or in the operation, promotion, or playing of a lottery or mutuel scheme or enterprise.
(3) Possession of gambling records in the second degree is a Class A misdemeanor.
Permitting gambling –
(1) A person is guilty of permitting gambling when, having possession or control of premises which he knows are being used to advance gambling activity, he fails to halt or abate or attempt to halt or abate such use within a reasonable period of time.
(2) Permitting gambling is a Class B misdemeanor.
Possession of gambling device –
(1) A person is guilty of possession of a gambling device when, with knowledge of the character thereof, he manufactures, sells, transports, places or possesses a gambling device or conducts or negotiates any transaction affecting or designed to affect ownership, custody or use of any gambling device, believing that it is to be used in the advancement of unlawful gambling activity.
(2) Possession of a gambling device is a Class A misdemeanor.
Prima facie proof –
(1) Proof of possession of any gambling device or any gambling record specified in KRS 528.050, 528.060, and 528.080 is prima facie evidence of possession thereof with knowledge of its character or contents.
2) In any prosecution under this chapter in which it is necessary to prove the occurrence of a sporting event, a published report of its occurrence in any daily newspaper, magazine or other periodically printed publication of general circulation or evidence that a description of some aspect of the event was written, printed or otherwise noted at the place in which a violation of this chapter is alleged to have been committed shall be admissible in evidence and shall constitute prima facie proof of the occurrence of the event.
Any gambling device or gambling record possessed or used in violation of this chapter is forfeited to the state, and shall be disposed of in accordance with KRS 500.090, except that the provisions of this section shall not apply to charitable gaming activity as defined by KRS 528.010(10).
Horse races, messenger betting prohibited — Exception.
(1) Any person who, either for himself or as agent or employee of another, wagers money or anything of value on a horse race run or about to be run or advertised, posted or reported as being run at any race track in or out of this state, or who engages in the occupation of receiving, making, transmitting or negotiating, either in person or by messenger, telephone or telegraph, wagers on horse races run or about to be run or advertised, posted or reported as being run or about to be run at any race track in or out of the state, shall, except in the case of wagers made within the enclosure of a race track licensed by the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority during an authorized race meeting at that track, or an enclosure during regular meetings in which running, trotting or pacing races are being conducted by associations regularly organized for that purpose, be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.
(2) In any prosecution under subsection (1) of this section, the state need not prove that the horse race upon which the wager was placed was actually run. Proof that the wager was made upon what purported to be or what was advertised, reported or understood to be a horse race shall be sufficient to establish a prima facie case for the state.
Off-track acceptance of money for pari-mutuel wagering –
(1) No person, as a business or for any compensation, shall, directly or indirectly, accept any thing of value to be wagered or to be transmitted or delivered for wager to any pari-mutuel wagering enterprise, or participate in any such transmission.
(2) As used herein, “person” shall mean and include any individual, partnership, association, joint stock association or trust, corporation, or other business entity, whether incorporated or not.
(3) Any person violating any of the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.