Kentucky Casinos - Best Gambling Locations in KY

Read reviews and compare the top casinos in The Bluegrass State

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If you’re a casino enthusiast in Kentucky, you might find yourself limited in options as the state does not currently permit land-based casinos, unlike the gambling laws in neighboring US states. Unlike neighboring states like Indiana, which boast proper casinos that you can visit, Kentucky’s gambling laws have restricted the establishment of brick-and-mortar casinos. However, Kentucky does offer a range of other entertainment and recreational activities for residents and visitors to enjoy which mimic casino action.

Most Popular Casinos in Kentucky Reviewed

While Kentucky might not offer the traditional casino experience you’re accustomed to, it certainly doesn’t mean you’re out of options. On this page, we’ll delve into the top gambling venues in Kentucky, exploring their unique offerings and entertainment value. Additionally, we’ll take a quick detour to neighboring Indiana, where we’ll explore two of their top casinos, to provide you with a broader spectrum of choices. Stick with us as we guide you through the best places to indulge your love for gaming in and around Kentucky.

Oak Grove Gaming, Oak Grove

Oak Grove Gaming, located in Oak Grove, Kentucky, opened its doors to the public in 2021. Spanning a vast area of 50,000 square feet, this gaming facility offers an impressive array of games to cater to selected interests. HHR, or horse racing slot games are offered. Visitors can immerse themselves in these games although they will miss out on traditional casino gaming options.

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In addition to the gaming options, Oak Grove Gaming provides an excellent dining experience with a variety of restaurants and bars. Guests can savor delicious meals at the on-site restaurants, which offer diverse cuisines to cater to different tastes. From steakhouse classics to international delights, there is something for everyone. After a day of gaming, visitors can unwind and enjoy a refreshing drink at the bars, where a wide selection of beverages is available.

Visitors can find an array of features and amenities to enhance their stay. Whether it’s luxurious suites, a rejuvenating spa, or a fully-equipped fitness center, this gaming destination aims to provide a complete experience for its guests. For those seeking entertainment, the facility also hosts live shows and performances to keep the excitement going beyond the gaming floor.

With an ever-increasing number of positive reviews, Oak Grove Gaming has earned a favorable reputation among visitors. The price of food is generally regarded as reasonable, offering good value for money. While some complaints might surface, as is typical for any establishment, the overall reputation remains positive, making Oak Grove Gaming a popular destination for both locals and tourists seeking something of an unconventional gaming experience.

Derby City Gaming

Derby City Gaming, located in Louisville, Kentucky, opened its doors in 2018. With an expansive size of 85,000 square feet, this gaming facility offers an impressive variety of HHR games. You’ll find over 1,300 of these games, all of which are, of course, electronic gambling machines.

Derby City Gaming ensures visitors have a satisfying experience. You’ll discover a range of restaurants and bars serving delicious fare, including mouth-watering steaks and delectable desserts, all designed with Southern cuisine in mind.

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While Derby City Gaming in Louisville may not have extensive accommodation features like hotels or suites, it compensates with an array of other amenities. Visitors can indulge in entertaining live shows or events and take advantage of the fitness center to stay active. Although the facility lacks a swimming pool or spa, it compensates with a focus on gaming and entertainment, catering to those seeking a fun-filled experience.

As for its reputation amongst visitors, Derby City Gaming generally garners positive reviews for its welcoming atmosphere and variety of gaming options. Many appreciate the diverse selection of electronic horse betting games available. The dining options also receive praise for their delicious offerings. However, some visitors have mentioned concerns about a lack of diverse games, but this is to be expected in Kentucky.

Ellis Park Racing & Gaming, Henderson

Ellis Park Racing & Gaming, situated in Henderson, Kentucky, opened its doors to the public in 1922. The gaming facility boasts an impressive selection of HHR games to cater to horse racing fans. Like other venues in Kentucky, it lacks conventional casino games. Ellis Park also has you covered for food and drink. The facility houses multiple dining restaurants and bars that offer a variety of delectable options.

At Ellis Park Racing & Gaming, the focus lies predominantly on gaming and entertainment, rather than accommodation features. While there may not be rooms, suites, or a hotel on the premises, the gaming facility often hosts entertaining live events, ensuring there’s never a dull moment.

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Amongst visitors, Ellis Park Racing & Gaming has garnered a favorable reputation for its lively atmosphere and extensive gaming options. Many patrons appreciate the variety of HHR and electronic games available. While some visitors have mentioned a lack of diversity in games, the overall reputation of Ellis Park Racing & Gaming remains positive, attracting gaming enthusiasts looking for an exciting electronic gaming experience in the Henderson area. 

Belterra Casino Resort, Florence, Indiana

If you’re a Kentucky resident yearning for a full-fledged casino experience, your best bet lies just across the state line in Florence, Indiana. Belterra Casino Resort opened in 2000, offers responsible gambling options across an expansive 47,201 square feet of gaming space. Here, you’ll find an impressive array of over 1,100 games, ranging from classic slot machines to high-stakes table games like blackjack, roulette, and craps.

Your gaming experience at Belterra doesn’t have to end on the casino floor. The resort is home to several dining establishments and bars, each with its unique offerings. Savor a juicy steak at the 19 Steak & Seafood or enjoy a casual meal at the Buffet. If you’re looking for a place to unwind, head to one of the resort’s bars, where you can enjoy a wide selection of drinks in a relaxed atmosphere.

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Beyond gaming and dining, Belterra Casino Resort boasts a range of features designed to enhance your stay. The resort offers 608 luxurious rooms and suites, complete with all the amenities you’d expect from a high-end hotel. If relaxation is what you seek, the resort’s spa and fitness center are at your disposal. Additionally, the resort features an entertainment venue for live shows, a swimming pool for a refreshing dip, and a golf course for those who enjoy the sport.

Belterra Casino Resort enjoys a solid reputation among its visitors. The food, while a bit pricey, consistently receives positive reviews for its quality and variety. However, some visitors have expressed concerns about the smoke in the casino area. Overall, the resort is known for its excellent customer service, diverse gaming options, and comfortable accommodations, making it a popular choice for Kentuckians prepared to head over the state line.

Grand Victoria Casino & Resort, Rising Sun, Indiana

Kentuckians in search of an authentic day at the casino should consider heading over the border to the Grand Victoria Casino in Rising Sun, Indiana. Opened in 1996, this expansive casino spans 40,000 square feet and offers a broad array of over 600 games. Here, you can try your hand at everything from traditional slot machines to table games such as blackjack, poker, and roulette.

Grand Victoria and its riverboat are also home to several dining options and bars. The Wellington’s Steakhouse is a fine dining restaurant where you can indulge in prime steaks and seafood. For a more casual setting, head to the River View Buffet which offers a wide variety of cuisines. If you’re in the mood for a drink, the casino’s bars serve a comprehensive selection of beverages to cater to all tastes.

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Grand Victoria Casino is part of a larger resort complex that includes comfortable rooms and suites, a fitness center for those who want to keep up with their workout routine, and a swimming pool for a relaxing dip. Entertainment options abound, with regular performances and events that cater to a wide range of interests.

Visitors to the Grand Victoria Casino often commend the establishment for its friendly staff and clean facilities. The prices for food and beverages are fair compared to nearby establishments, and the casino enjoys a solid reputation for its diverse gaming options. However, some visitors have expressed dissatisfaction with the smoking policy. Overall, the Grand Victoria Casino is widely regarded as a worthwhile destination for those seeking a comprehensive casino experience but who reside in Kentucky.

List of All Casinos in Kentucky

Unfortunately, almost all the casinos in Kentucky are racetrack establishments, offering electronic horse race betting games. Even so, these are the venues you can head to if you fancy trying this unique form of gambling:

NameAddressCityPhone Number
Churchill Downs700 Central AveLouisville(502) 636-4400
Derby City4520 Poplar Level RoadLouisville(502) 961-7600
Ellis Park3300 US-41Henderson(812) 435-8918
Keeneland Race Course4201 Versailles RoadLexington(859) 254-341
Kentucky Downs5629 Nashville RoadFranklin(270) 586-7778
Oak Grove Gaming777 Winners WayOak Grove(270) 984-4200
Turfway Park7500 Turfway RoadFlorence(859) 371-0200
The Red Mile1200 Red Mile RoadLexington(859) 255-0752

Biggest Casinos in Kentucky

In the following section, we will showcase the biggest land-based gambling establishments in Kentucky, listing the top five venues’ names and sizes.

Casino NameSize
Derby City Gaming43,279 sq. feet
Churchill Downs18,000 sq. feet
Keeneland Race Course15,000 sq. feet
Oak Grove Gaming13,000 sq. feet
Turfway Park12,000 sq. feet
churchilldowns ky

Kentucky Casinos with the Most Games

The number of games at Kentucky casinos varies wildly. Below you’ll find the top five Kentucky-based venues ranked according to the number of games they support.

Casino NameNumber of Games
Derby City1,300+ games
Oak Grove Gaming1,300+ games
Churchill Downs500 games
Keeneland Race Course450 games
Turfway Park420 games

Casinos in Kentucky with Hotels

Looking for Kentucky casinos that also offer accommodation? We’re here to help. In the table below, we’ve compiled a list of the top five casinos in Kentucky that have hotels on-site, according to the number of rooms available.

Casino NameNumber of Rooms
Churchill Downs150 rooms
Oak Grove Gaming128 rooms
Derby City123 rooms
Keeneland Race Course120 rooms
Turfway Park110 rooms

Casino Games in Kentucky

As you will know, Kentucky isn’t home to most conventional casino table games and slots. So, what wonderful gambling opportunities can you experience in the state? For the most part, only HHR games are an option, but we’ll explain more below.


Unfortunately, slot machines are not accessible at casinos in Kentucky. You’ll need to nip across to Indiana or play at the best offshore online casinos for Kentucky residents to enjoy those. In fact, that may even be advantageous since the best real money online casinos support thousands of slots for you to choose from.

Casino Poker

Poker isn’t on the table in Kentucky, either. If you don’t fancy taking a trip across the state lines, then you can find top KY online poker rooms right here for all your online poker needs.


Roulette players in Kentucky are also out of luck. While Indiana has several casinos nearby where you can play, you also have the option of heading to our selection of the best online roulette casinos. Furthermore, our top recommended live dealer online casino sites provide realistic and authentic roulette games over a live video stream for your needs.


If you want to get your fix of blackjack and you don’t want to leave the state to do it, we recommend that you join our top-rated online blackjack casino sites, as the table game can’t be played in B&M casinos in Kentucky.

Dice Games

Dice games are also covered by Kentucky’s blanket ban on most forms of casino games. However, top dice websites and the best craps casinos online can sort you out if you wish to bet on those games of chance.

Other Games

HHR games, or Historical Horse Racing games, are a unique form of sports gambling offered in Kentucky land-based casinos. These options are not the same as betting at top Kentucky online sports betting sites, though. Instead, these games allow you to bet on the outcome of previously run horse races, the results of which are anonymized, ensuring the betting process is not influenced by the players’ knowledge of the original race.

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Within Kentucky’s gambling laws, HHR games are considered pari-mutuel wagering, which is legal in the state, allowing you to participate in this thrilling gambling activity while staying compliant with local regulations.

Our selection of the top five HHR games in KY land-based casinos includes:

  • Instant Racing
  • Kentucky Derby
  • Triple Crown Challenge
  • Jackpot Jockey
  • Race Day
hhr games ky

If HHR games aren’t for you, you can find a host of other games at top real money casino apps and online sites, as mentioned above. These include slots, roulette, blackjack, video poker and baccarat games at online casinos, among other options. Get a head start by exploring our recommended Kentucky casino apps here.

Riverboat Casinos in Kentucky

Contrary to some states, Kentucky does not have riverboat casinos. Instead, the state’s gambling industry primarily revolves around KY casinos, historical horse racing (HHR) games, and the lottery. Riverboat casinos, common in other regions, have not been established as a form of gambling in Kentucky.

Indian Gaming Tribes in Kentucky

The Bluegrass State does not have any Indian casinos operating under federal laws. However, it’s essential to acknowledge that there are indigenous communities with historical ties to Kentucky, including the Shawnee and Cherokee. However, neither operate so-called Indian casinos.

Gambling Taxes in Kentucky

If you’re a resident of Kentucky and have gambling winnings, you’re required to report them as income on your tax return. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Kentucky Department of Revenue consider all gambling winnings as taxable income. This includes winnings from horse racing, lottery, and even bingo.

To report your gambling winnings, you’ll need to itemize them on Schedule 1 (Form 1040), line 8. It’s crucial to keep accurate records of your winnings, as you’ll need to provide supporting documents if audited. Remember, even if you didn’t receive a W-2G form from the casino or betting establishment, you’re still obligated to report all your winnings.

When it comes to paying taxes on these winnings, the rate will depend on your total taxable income. In Kentucky, the state income tax rate ranges from 2% to 6%. It’s advisable to consult with a tax professional to ensure you’re correctly reporting and paying your gambling taxes.

Remember, failing to report gambling winnings can result in penalties and interest. So, make sure to accurately report your winnings and pay the appropriate taxes to avoid any potential issues with the IRS or Kentucky Department of Revenue.

Kentucky Gambling FAQ

When did Kentucky first legalize casino gambling?

Casino gambling was first legalized in Kentucky in 2019. However, it’s important to note that this legalization was specifically for historical horse racing machines, which are considered a type of casino gambling. Traditional casino-style gambling, such as poker, blackjack, and roulette, is still not legally permitted in Kentucky.

What is the legal gambling age in Kentucky?

In Kentucky, you must be at least 18 years old to gamble at pari-mutuel wagering facilities, which include horse tracks and historical racing machines. The same state gambling age limits are in place for lottery and bingo games.

What was the first Kentucky casino to open?

There are no legal casino venues permitted in Kentucky, not in the true sense of the term. The state does, however, allow for historical horse racing machines, which are similar to slot machines. The first facility to offer these machines was Kentucky Downs, but it’s important to note that this is a racetrack, not a traditional casino in the true sense of the word.

How much revenue do casinos in Kentucky make?

Kentucky does not have conventional casinos, so it does not generate any direct tax revenue from casino gambling. However, the state does make revenue from other forms of gambling, such as the lottery and pari-mutuel wagering on horse racing. 1.5% of all revenue raised from HHRs goes to the State of Kentucky.

Are there horse/dog racing and off-track betting options in Kentucky?

Yes, off-track betting is legal in Kentucky. This includes betting on horse racing. The state has a long history of horse racing, being home to the world-famous Kentucky Derby. However, it’s important to note that dog racing is not legal in Kentucky.

Do any Kentucky casinos offer free parking?

Parking policies can vary by location, so it’s recommended to check with each facility directly for their most current information. Ordinarily, yes – parking is free.

How many casinos does Kentucky have?

In short – none. The state is known for its horse racing venues, some of which offer historical racing machines, but these are not considered full casinos. There are two casinos close by in Indiana, though, which are frequently visited by Kentuckians. 

Is charitable gambling permitted in Kentucky?

Yes, charitable gambling is legal in Kentucky. This includes games like bingo, pull-tabs, raffles, and more. The Kentucky Department of Charitable Gaming oversees these activities to ensure they are conducted in compliance with state law.

Are any new casinos opening in Kentucky soon?

The Kentucky Gaming Commission and lawmakers have shown no sign of altering the state of play in Kentucky. Therefore, no new casinos are planned for the immediate future. 

Are there any legal restrictions to gambling at casinos in Kentucky?

Yes, plenty. The state is known for its horse racing venues, some of which offer historical racing machines, a type of game that is similar to a slot machine but based on previously run horse races. You cannot wager on conventional casino games in the Bluegrass State. Traditional casino-style gambling is not permitted in Kentucky. This includes games like poker, blackjack, and roulette.

For charitable gaming, which is legal in Kentucky, there are specific rules and regulations that must be followed. These games are overseen by the Kentucky Department of Charitable Gaming. Online sites operate in a gray area in Kentucky law, but they aren’t illegal and you can find many top Kentucky no deposit bonus online casinos here.

Can you smoke in Kentucky casinos?

The smoking policies in Kentucky’s casino-like arcades and racetracks vary. Some may have designated smoking areas, while others may be entirely smoke-free. However, you should note that Kentucky law prohibits smoking in enclosed public places and workplaces, but there are exceptions.

Are pets allowed in casinos in Kentucky?

Policies regarding pets at gambling venues can vary greatly. Some may allow service animals as required by law but not allow pets, while others may have specific pet-friendly policies.

Where can I receive help with gambling addiction in Kentucky?

If you or someone you know is struggling with a gambling addiction or compulsion  in Kentucky, you should reach out to the Kentucky Council on Problem Gambling (1-800-GAMBLER): This is a non-profit organization that offers various resources for people dealing with problem gambling. Gamblers Anonymous, the National Council on Problem Gambling (1-800-522-4700), the National Problem Gambling Helpline (1-800-522-4700) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) are other options to consider.

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