If we are talking about casino gambling, the state of Kentucky does not necessarily jump to the forefront of one’s mind. Not only is Kentucky widely known to be one of the most conservative of the 50 states, it is sparsely populated, consisting of more country than cities. In the same breath, if you know anything about history you know that Kentucky is considered to be the capital of horse racing in the United States and, by some accounts, the world. With all of the wagers that are placed on the thousands of horse races that take place in Kentucky, you might be interested to find out more about the existence of casino-style gambling in the state.
It goes without saying that Kentucky is a bit hypocritical with regard to its gambling, and that is something that does not look like it is going to change anytime soon.
At this point in time, there are no casinos in the state of Kentucky. Though there are plenty of on and off-track betting locations, the fact of the matter is that table games and other classic casino staples are not available anywhere within the state’s borders.
Kentucky Gambling History
The history of Kentucky gambling is interesting in that there really is none. The state’s constitution was drawn up specifically with anti-gambling wordage. The reason for this was due to the fact that, at the time which the constitution was drafted, there were many lotteries in all areas of the state. Though many of these lotteries gave out real winnings to real people in order to support what were mostly legitimate causes, other lotteries were illicit in nature. After some time, the number of illicit lotteries going on in Kentucky reached an intolerable level. Basically, this is a major part of the reason you are unable to play a hand of blackjack in Louisville or any other part of the state.
Even though the state’s constitution explicitly outlawed most forms of gambling, it did and continues to make an exception for pari-mutuel gambling on horse and dog races. To some, this makes no sense at all, but when you consider the fact that the state hosts what is widely known as the top horseracing event in the world,—The Kentucky Derby—you can see why the earliest politicians decided to maintain this style of gambling.
Going back to the lottery discussion, Kentucky was one of the last states to create a lottery system. This is something that did not happen until the 1980s. Since the 1980s, however, there are not many developments to talk about. During the mid-2000s the idea to legalize casino gambling was floated around, but state lawmakers did not make much progress and all of those pieces of legislation eventually failed. There are still plenty of people who think Kentucky will eventually fold and make way for live casinos, but conservative roots
Where Can Kentucky Residents Casino Gamble?
Being that there are no table game or slot options for residents or visitors to Kentucky, your next inquiry might be with regard to where you can gamble in close proximity to the state. If you are in Louisville or Frankfort, you are in luck. Just over the border in Ohio there are a few casinos in close proximity to Cincinnati, Ohio. From some of the more populous cities in Northern Kentucky, residents and visitors are only about an hour and a half drive away from casino gambling in Ohio.
Residents and visitors to other parts of the state often find themselves traveling to Indiana, where riverboat gambling is king. So, at the end of the day, even though there may not be much of any casino gambling options in Kentucky, surrounding states are there to help you out.