Kentucky View map


Major events in Kentucky gaming history


Churchill Downs opens and the Kentucky Derby is born
The Red Mile opens for harness racing


The original Latonia Race Course opens in Latonia


Dade Park opens in October for harness racing; a Thoroughbred meet follows in November


Keeneland opens for racing in October using the state’s first totalizator system


Last year of racing at the original Latonia Race Course


Dade Park is renamed Ellis Park


In July, Audubon Raceway opens in Henderson


Fairgrounds Speedway opens in Louisville


Fairgrounds Speedway is renamed Miles Park and offers Thoroughbred racing


A new Latonia Race Course opens in Florence


Louisville Downs opens for harness racing in July


Miles Park is renamed Commonwealth Race Course


Last year of racing at Commonwealth Race Course
Audubon Raceway is renamed Midwest Harness and reopens after several on and off years


Latonia is the first Kentucky track to offer individual race simulcasts


Bluegrass Downs opens as a Quarter Horse track


Latonia Race Course is renamed Turfway Park under new ownership


Voters approve a state lottery
Full-card simulcasting begins between Kentucky tracks
Midwest Harness is renamed Riverside Downs and reopens again


The Lottery begins instant ticket sales on April 4
Lotto Kentucky is the Lottery’s first online draw game


The Lottery introduces pulltabs in July
Dueling Grounds opens for live racing and simulcasting


In January, the Lottery adds Lotto America
Last year of racing at Louisville Downs


Powerball replaces Lotto America in April
In November, the Lottery is the first in the U.S. to offer an extended-play instant bingo game
Off-track betting begins in November
The legislature authorizes charitable gaming
The Sports Spectrum simulcast wagering facility opens on the grounds of the old Louisville Downs


Bluegrass Downs switches from Quarter Horse racing to Thoroughbred racing
Last year of racing at Riverside Downs


Thunder Ridge opens in July for harness racing
The Department of Charitable Gaming is created to license and regulate charitable gaming


Dueling Grounds is renamed Kentucky Downs


Bluegrass Downs switches from Thoroughbred racing to harness racing


Lotto South launches in September, a joint game with Georgia and Virginia


In March, the Lottery launches the interactive CD game from Ingenio


In February, Win For Life replaces Lotto South as a multi-state game with Georgia and Virginia


The Lottery launches its first limited-run raffle game in January


In December, the Lottery stops offering pulltabs


Kentucky Downs begins offering Historical Racing games in September


In February, 5 Card Cash replaces 3 Line Lotto in the Lottery's game portfolio
Ellis Park opens a gaming area offering Historical Racing on August 31


All OTB locations are closed in June, ending OTB in the state
The Lottery introduces keno on November 4


The Lottery launches MONOPOLY Millionaires' Club with 22 other lotteries on October 19; the game was discontinued in December


The Lottery launches the multi-state game Lucky for Life in March
In partnership with Keeneland, The Red Mile opens a gaming area offering Historical Racing in September


The Lottery launches online sales in April


Online gaming

In April 2016, the Kentucky Lottery launched online sales. Select draw-based games, including Powerball, Mega Millions and Kentucky Cash Ball, are offered online, plus a number of instant games. Online games may be played only by Kentucky residents within the state.



The Kentucky Lottery was launched on April 4, 1989, with two instant games including Kentucky Derby Dreamstakes, which featured a promotional tie-in to the Kentucky Derby. The current game offerings include instant tickets, Powerball, Mega Millions, Kentucky Cash Ball, 5 Card Cash, Lucky for Life, Pick 3, Pick 4 and Keno. The lottery also offers limited-run raffle games.

Lottery proceeds fund Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarships, College Access Program Grants and Kentucky Tuition Grants.

Kentucky Lottery Corp.
1011 West Main Street
Louisville, KY 40202
Phone (502) 560-1500


Pari-mutuel facilities

There are currently eight racetracks in Kentucky, five offering Thoroughbred racing and three with harness racing. Off-track wagering was authorized in 1992, and at one point four locations were operating. All were closed for good on June 8, 2013.

On September 1, 2011, Kentucky Downs became the first track in the state to offer Historical Racing, electronic video games with pari-mutuel wagering based on historical races. Ellis Park followed on August 31, 2012. The Red Mile, in a partnership with Keeneland, opened its Historical Racing operation in September 2015.

Churchill Downs
700 Central Avenue
Louisville, KY 40208

Ellis Park
3300 U.S. Highway 41 North
Henderson, KY 42420

Keeneland Association
4201 Versailles Road
Lexington, KY 40588

Kentucky Downs
5629 Nashville Road
Franklin, KY 42134

Players Bluegrass Downs
150 Downs Drive
Paducah, KY 42002

The Red Mile
1200 Red Mile Road
Lexington, KY 40504

Thunder Ridge
164 Thunder Road
Prestonsburg, KY 41653

Turfway Park
7500 Turfway Road
Florence, KY 41022

Kentucky Horse Racing Commission
4063 Ironworks Parkway, Building B
Lexington, KY 40511
Phone (859) 246-2040


Charitable gaming

The Department of Charitable Gaming was created in 1994 as an office within the Department of Public Protection to license and regulate charitable gaming.

A charitable gaming license allows charities to play bingo, sell charity game tickets or pulltabs, hold raffles, have casino nights, and have school and church festivals and picnics, among other things.

Charitable gaming licensees include churches, schools, band and athletic boosters, community sports programs, veterans, volunteer fire and rescue departments, animal rights groups, groups that support the arts, history, or museums; and fraternal and civic groups.

Department of Charitable Gaming
132 Brighton Park Boulevard
Frankfort, KY 40601-3714
Phone (502) 573-5528
Fax (502) 573-6625


Last updated on June 19, 2016