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Online Casinos in Kentucky (US)

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Before signing up at an online casino, Kentucky residents must be aware of the increased risks that are inherent when playing from a restricted region. While overseas casinos are still able to operate on the internet in a relative gray-market, protective organizations and legal recourse are not possible options for individuals gambling outside the bounds of the law. It is therefore pivotal that you can identify the site as a legitimate entity that is both licensed and verified by third parties. Below are some good example questions to ask yourself before registering an account.

  • Is the casino fully licensed?
  • Do reviews support the trustworthiness of the site?
  • Does the site accept players from Kentucky?
  • Are US dollars available to deposit with?
  • Are your preferred payment methods supported?

Third-party verification can either be from an independent auditing service like eCOGRA or it can be reviews or feedback from a trusted source. At GoodLuckMate we endeavor to write casino reviews and articles that are factual and honest. It is our goal to create a site that you can trust for all things gambling-related, including finding the best online casino available to Kentucky players.

Gambling Regulation

The Kentucky Derby is both a blessing and a curse for the state’s would-be casino players. The event draws big crowds both in-house and online, creating a huge surge of bets and revenue. The derby is able to draw in over $800 million in gambling revenues on a yearly basis, which is actually a major factor in the current casino limitations. There is a fear that opening up other events and gambling activities in the region will lead to the economic cannibalization of the derby. 

The strict nature of Kentucky’s stance on gambling was evidenced in 2008 when the state made claims to seize 141 gambling-related domain names. This was the first case of its kind in the country and was actioned with limited success, as some of the domains were taken down. There was some hope in 2020, as a bipartisan bill was put into motion with the purpose of opening up online poker and sports betting operations. Unfortunately, the bill wasn’t able to take off, although plans are set to reintroduce the bill in 2021.

Until any legal changes are made, residents will have to accept that all casinos and online-based gambling activities are not considered legal within the confines of state borders. The way that most online casinos circumnavigate this is by being headquartered overseas. This means that their operations are able to be fully legal and licensed while leaving the responsibility of blocking access being squarely placed on the government.

Localized Online Casinos

Most US players will come across a lot of localization options that naturally suits them when visiting an online casino. Sites will predominantly be featured in English, while also having US dollar currency support and payment options. Big sporting events like American Football Horse racing is also a familiar sight at online sportsbooks, as these grand US-based events tend to draw in an international crowd. 

You may however come across issues when looking for welcome offers and other promotional eligibilities. As the US remains largely a restricted market, many sites will not outright advertise or create promotional material that is aimed at residents. That isn’t to say that there aren’t offers out there for you to enjoy, it just means that you will need to double-check if you are eligible, by checking the terms of any offer that takes your interest

Gambling with US Dollars

US dollars are a common sight at online casinos, due to it serving as a default currency option. There are bound to be some currencies that can’t be covered by a casino, which means an alternative currency must be used for those players whose local currency is not supported. This is where US dollars comes in, which is often offered side by side with euros. What this all means is that players from America will have a very easy time finding a casino with the right currency options.

It might however not be so easy to find yourself a suitable payment method. American banks have a habit of restricting any payments that look to be made towards gambling activities and it is, therefore, best to find an alternative. E-wallets and cryptocurrencies have become popular methods for players, allowing them to make quick transactions without directly involving the bank.

Casinos in Kentucky 

Whatever your opinion on the Kentucky Derby is, the event is a big source of pride for residents. This is also the major event for locals to come down and get a front-row seat at the betting action. The state-run lottery, social and sweepstakes casinos also provide an alternative to standard land-based casinos. Naturally, you will not be finding any locally-based online operations, nor will you find much in the way of real money slots and table games. This is why online casinos from abroad are able to fill the void left by a restricted market, as local organizations are legally barred from competing. While players are subject to enhanced risk when not backed up by state legislation, there are still plenty of legitimate online casinos that will happily accept new players from Kentucky.


Dispute resolution – can I get help from a third party?


A gambling license is intended to protect players, and one of its main functions is to provide a mechanism for resolving disputes when they come up. If you have a dispute with a casino, and the casino is being unreasonable, the gambling authority will help you. For many licenses, this means you can contact the gambling authority to get help processing your withdrawals, claiming money the casino has debited from your account, or resolving other disputes that might arise. The likelihood that the gambling authority will help you in ways that are effective, however, depends on the procedures they have in place for this. This is yet another reason why choosing to play at a casino that has a safe license is important.

Getting help directly from the gambling authority is not always necessary, or even an option. A lot of regulators have now enforced third-party dispute resolution. This means casinos must have an agreement with an arbitrator who will look into disputes on the behalf of players from a particular casino. This ensures your dispute will be reviewed by an objective third party. All trusted online casinos have information about arbitration on their websites if they use this option, or they’ll have the contact information for the gambling authority you should consult. However, you should always try to resolve your issues with the casino first, and a lot of casinos have separate email addresses specifically for handling complaints.


Secure payments – can I trust a casino with my money?


If you’re worried about the security of the transactions you’re making at a casino, you should look for a logo with the acronym PCI DSS. This stands for Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, and this is something the payment industry has created. If you see this logo, it means the casino can be trusted for safe money transactions since they follow all of the rules set by the payment industry. Information about this can also be found in an FAQ section on the casino’s website.

Another thing to look out for in terms of payments is where your money is kept while you play. Some gambling authorities, all of the best ones actually, regulate what the casino can do with your money while they are holding it. Your money shouldn’t go into a general bank account held by the casino; it should go into an account that is strictly for holding player funds. This means that as long as you have the money in your player account, it can’t be spent by the casino. Your deposit will be kept separate from the operating funds of the casino until your player account is empty, which will happen if you make a funds withdrawal or if you lose the money while playing.


Fair gaming – do the games give me a fair chance to win?


The best known system tool for ensuring that a casino offers fair games is eCogra; however, there are other providers that also offer these kinds of systems. You want to make sure that the casino is using a certified third-party control system to ensure that the games of chance you’re playing are actually based on chance and not on other types of metrics. Rigged games are ones that have been set up to pay out less than they claim to or ones that give some players a greater chance of winning than others.

The eCogra logo can often be found in the footer of the casino’s website, but not all casinos choose to display it. If you can’t see this logo, go to the FAQs and see if you can find information about random number generators. If there are no FAQs on the site, check out their terms and conditions or contact the casino’s support and ask how they ensure their games are safe.


Encrypted website – how is my information kept safe?


An SSL-encrypted website should be mandatory for any casino, and very few casinos operate without this or similar safe encryption features. Always keep in mind that you are giving the casino quite a bit of sensitive information, including your payment details. When you’re uploading and sending documents to verify your identity, you want to make sure that no unauthorized third-party has access to them. Site security, therefore, doesn’t only include the website itself but also what the casino does on the backend. You should always look into a casino’s data security. You’ll normally find information about this in their terms and conditions and their privacy policy. If in doubt, contact their support and ask for more detailed information.

Most trustworthy casinos have information about site security in the website footer, so simply scroll down and look for the logo of a well-known security system.


Gambling license – can I play at a casino from my country?


The gambling license a casino operates under will have a big impact on your security. Not all licenses are equally safe for players for the simple reason that they are issued by different gambling authorities that work in different ways and have different rules. The rules and regulations may be quite similar, but the way they are enforced is a different story entirely. For example, if a casino doesn’t comply with the regulations, some gambling authorities may just issue a fine while others may revoke the casino’s license outright. How often gambling authorities show up for an unscheduled inspection or control will also vary.

The biggest differences between a safe, high quality gambling license and one that isn’t as good will usually show up in the areas of fair gaming, dispute resolution and the rules and systems for identifying and handling problem gamblers (responsible gambling). If your country of residence has its own gambling authority, playing at casinos that are licensed by them will be the safest option for you. Other international licenses that can be trusted are issued by the Malta Gambling Authority and the Gibraltar Regulatory Authority. Curacao eGaming is getting better at protecting players whereas licenses from Panama and Costa Rica, for instance, are considered less safe. The worst option is obviously a casino with no license whatsoever.


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