Introduction to Kentucky Slot Machine Casino Gambling in 2018
Kentucky slot machine casino gambling is essentially nonexistent as games of chance are strictly illegal in Kentucky. However, competition-based games are legal. Currently, four out of Kentucky’s seven pari-mutuel wagering racetracks offer these skill-based electronic gaming machines.
Payout return statistics are publicly available for the five
This post continues the weekly blog series Online Resource: State-By-State Slots Gambling Summaries, an online resource dedicated to guiding slot machine casino gambling enthusiasts to success. Each weekly post reviews slots gambling in a single U.S. state, territory, or federal district.
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Relevant Legal Statutes on Gambling in Kentucky*
The minimum gambling age in
- Land-Based Casinos: N/A
- Poker Rooms: N/A
- Bingo: 18
- Lottery: 18
- Pari-Mutuel Wagering: 18
Kentucky’s interpretation of gambling
Therefore, competition-based games are legal including pari-mutuel wagering but, relevant to our interest as slots enthusiasts, slot machine casino gambling is illegal.
However, of interest are 1,720 competition-based electronic games available in a few of their pari-mutuel facilities. These skill-based games are based on historical race results.
Historically speaking, Kentucky has had a fascinating relationship with gambling. While casino gambling was never legal, gambling dens were prevalent before the Great Depression of 1929.
Much of this open display of gambling was located in Newport, across the Ohio River from Cincinnati, and included an element of organized crime. If ever in Newport, consider walking the historic Newport Gangster Tour.
*The purpose of this section is to inform the public of state gambling laws and how the laws apply to various forms of gambling. This information is not intended to provide legal advice.
Slot Machine Private Ownership in Kentucky
It is legal to privately own a slot machine in Kentucky.
Gaming Control Board in Kentucky
The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission regulates non-charitable gaming such as electronic gaming machines at
The most recent revenue report is available under Quick Links, titled Wagering Historical Horse Races. In the October 2018 report, the following four
- Derby City having 900 HHR electronic gaming machines.
- Ellis Park having 179 HHR electronic gaming machines.
- Kentucky Downs having 753 HHR electronic gaming machines
- Keeneland/Red Mile having 902 HHR electronic gaming machines.
Casinos in Kentucky
There are eight
The largest casino in Kentucky is Red Mile Kentucky Harness and Historic Racing in Lexington, having 902 gaming machines.
The second largest casino is Kentucky Downs Casino in Franklin, having 753 gaming machines.
List of Casinos in Kentucky
Those Kentucky pari-mutuel facilities offering skill-based historic horse race electronic gaming machines are:
- Derby City Gaming in Louisville located 74 miles west of Lexington on the Indiana border.
- Ellis Park Race Course in Henderson located 105 miles northwest of Bowling Green.
- Keeneland Race Course in Lexington.
- Kentucky Downs Casino in Franklin located 29 miles south of Bowling Green.
- Red Mile Kentucky Harness and Historic Racing in Lexington.
List of Tribal Casinos in Kentucky
There are no federally-recognized American Indian tribes in Kentucky and, therefore, no tribal casinos in this state.
Other Gambling Establishments
As an alternative to enjoying Kentucky slot machine casino gambling, consider exploring casino options in a nearby state.
Kentucky is bordered by:
- North: Ohio Slots
- East: West Virginia Slots
- Southeast: Virginia Slots
- South: Tennessee Slots
- West: Missouri Slots
Each of the links above will take you to my state-specific blog for that bordering state to Kentucky.
Payout Returns in Kentucky
The most recent month’s revenue report from the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission provides sufficient information to determine actual payout return statistics. These return percentages are for the most recent month and fiscal year-to-date along with a comparison to the same statistics one year ago.
For the most recent month of October 2018, the overall monthly payout return percentage is 91.47%. The year-to-date fiscal year payout return percentage is 91.72%.
For the four pari-mutuel facilities offering these skill-based competition games, the most recent monthly and fiscal year-to-date payout return statistics are:
- Derby City with 89.86% monthly and 89.71% yearly.
- Ellis Park with 91.09% monthly and 92.35% yearly.
- Kentucky Downs with 92.52% monthly and 93.07% yearly.
- Keeneland/Red Mile with 91.71% monthly and 92.39% yearly.
No minimum or maximum theoretical payout return limits for HHR gaming machines are publicly available.
Summary of Kentucky Slot Machine Casino Gambling in 2018
Kentucky slot machine casino gambling exists as competition-based games of skill. Traditional slot machines are illegal. However, four out of Kentucky’s seven pari-mutuel wagering racetracks offer a total of 2,734 skill-based electronic gaming machines.
Payout return statistics are publicly available for historic horse races electronic gaming machines at each of these sites. For all sites for October of 2018, the monthly payout return percentage was 91.47%. The year-to-date fiscal year payout return percentage was 91.72%.
Annual Progress in Kentucky Slot Machine Casino Gambling
In the last year, Thunder Ridge Raceway surrendered its gambling license and closed. So far, this available gambling license has not been reassigned to another property. However, the owners of Churchill Downs and Keeneland Race Course have reportedly expressed interest in additional historical racing facilities.
Also in the last year, the owners of Churchill Downs have opened Derby City Gaming to offer a venue with skill-based electronic gaming machines.
2017 Archive: Kentucky Slot Machine Casino Gambling in 2017 – Kentucky slot machine casino gambling does not exist, but holds the great prestige with regards to pari-mutuel wagering, with tracks opening in 1875. While casinos have never been legal in Kentucky, this state has provided a significant contribution to the history of gambling via illegal casinos and organized crime.
Other State-By-State Articles from Professor Slots
- Series: Online Resource: State-By-State Slots Gambling Summaries – Now in its second year, this series is an online resource dedicated to slot machine casino gambling enthusiasts. It provides 56 weekly, detailed gambling summarizes covering each U.S. state, territory, and the federal district to capture dynamic changes occurring of late in the U.S. gaming/gambling industry specific to slots play.
- Previous: Kansas Slot Machine Casino Gambling in 2018 – Kansas slot machine casino gambling consists of four non-tribal, state-run casinos and five tribal casinos. A tenth casino is under state review. Minimum payout returns are 87% for non-tribal casinos and 80% for most tribal casinos. The minimum payout return for one tribal casino, run by a tribe from Oklahoma, is unclear.
- Next: Louisiana Slot Machine Casino Gambling in 2018 – Louisiana slot machine casino gambling consists of 24 casinos, including 1 land-based, 4 tribal, and 16 riverboat casinos. Video poker gaming machines are in many businesses spread across the state. Payout return limits are legally set for non-tribal gaming. Return statistics for casinos are available by region and slots denomination.