Is Online Poker Legal in Kentucky?
If you are a lover of gambling, then quite frankly you are going to absolutely love Kentucky. There is a lot to do here when it comes to gambling, and a lot of regulated options. Whilst the state does aim to take a pretty tough stance when it comes to unregulated gambling, even that is an area where players can thrive, as I will demonstrate in a second.
The definition of gambling within the eyes of the state of Kentucky is short and to the point. Putting money on anything that has an element of chance involved can be construed as gambling, there are no ifs or buts about it. In some cases, as the cases before the courts have shown, there can be an element of skill involved, but if there is any chance in the game at all, then sadly it is going to be seen as gambling, which means that you can run afoul of this law.
Gambling means staking or risking something of value upon the outcome of a contest, game, gaming scheme, or gaming device which is based upon an element of chance, in accord with an agreement or understanding that someone will receive something of value in the event of a certain outcome. 
Now, this is where the law of Kentucky, unlike other states becomes interesting. Unregulated gambling does happen within Kentucky, that is a fact. However the law specifically implies that players in the game will be subject to no criminal liability:
“Player” means a person who engages in any form of gambling solely as a contestant or bettor, without receiving or becoming entitled to receive any profit therefrom other than personal gambling winnings, and without otherwise rendering any material assistance to the establishment, conduct, or operation of the particular 
This means it is pretty safe to act as a player whilst gambling within Kentucky. Operators of unregulated betting options do face a pretty tough time though, as this piece of legislation shows. The punishments are pretty harsh here for people that run illegal gambling operations, which can include criminal syndicate charges, which means you will be in prison for a long time if you break this law:
“Advancing gambling activity” — A person “advances gambling activity” when, acting other than as a player, he engages in conduct that materially aids any form of gambling activity. The conduct shall include, but is not limited to, conduct directed toward the establishment of the particular game, contest, scheme, device, or activity involved; toward the acquisition or maintenance of premises, paraphernalia, equipment, or apparatus therefor; toward the solicitation or inducement of persons to participate therein; toward the actual conduct of the playing phases thereof; toward the arrangement of any of its financial or recording phases or toward any other phase of its operation.
Whilst there are a no casinos operating within Kentucky, there are a number of horse and dog tracks, and you can even bet on these online!
Casinos and Live Poker
When it comes to live poker, you basically have two options available to you. The first is playing poker in a charitable event. The second is playing in a social game. Now, social games in Kentucky are not covered by the law, however, if we go by the legislation which specifically excludes liability for players then it is safe to assume that playing poker in a social environment will not be illegal, and it probably happens a lot in the state anyway. You shouldn’t really suffer from too many problems here!
There are now laws surrounding online poker in Kentucky, however, it is technically legal to join one of these games, but illegal to operate one within Kentucky. In the past, the state has sued a number of firms out of state who serve residents of the state, which means players may have a touch time trying to locate somewhere online to play!
Currently there have been no plans put forward to allow online gambling within Kentucky, although that isn’t to say it isn’t beyond the realms of possibility. After all, Kentucky already allows betting on horses online!