July 5, 2024 2 min read


Fact-checked by Angel Hristov

Kentucky Posts Nearly 90% Decrease in Gambling-Related Crimes

Only six gambling-related crimes were recoded for 2023 in the state, a figure that pointed to a decrease of 87.50% year-over-year

The Kentucky State Police, in collaboration with all law enforcement agencies in the state, released its latest offense and arrest data report. The document contained a summarized list of all criminal activities recorded in 2023 and compared it to the same list of crimes from the year before.

Early in September last year, Kentucky launched its retail betting market. Near the end of the same month, the state officially launched its online betting market as well. It is likely that those launches contributed toward the significant decrease in criminal gambling activities recorded throughout 2023.

Per the Kentucky State Police’s report, last year, there were a total of six gambling-related offenses or crimes. Notably, this marked a staggering decrease of 87.50% year-over-year when compared to the 2022 data which showed 48 gambling-related offenses.

A breakdown of the six gambling-related crimes pointed to a single unlawful gambling-related activity recorded in Elliot County, Franklin County, Jefferson County and Perry County. Two crimes related to gambling were recorded in Rockcastle County.

Looking at the overall picture, the recent report outlined that there was a total of 239,930 criminal offenses recorded last year. This number marked a slight increase of 0.89% when compared to the 237,818 figure posted a year earlier.

Notably, the number of gambling-related crimes was so low when compared to the total number of crimes that it represented a figure that was close to zero.

In contrast, the Kentucky State Police report highlighted a significant growth in other criminal activities, including cases related to animal cruelty, human trafficking and thefts of motor vehicles.

Unlike gambling, animal cruelty cases recorded in 2023 were a total of 991, a figure that showed a 35% increase year-over-year. Despite the uptick in such cases, they represented not even 0.5% of the total offenses recorded throughout the year.

Drug-related offenses, which are often tied to illegal gambling cases, were just above 53,000 in 2023. A year-over-year comparison showed an uptick of 2.83% in such criminal activities, while their number represented a whopping 22.14% of the total reported offenses.

Recently, a Kentucky judge upheld a decision that banned the controversial grey machines in the state. The decision complemented the efforts of lawmakers who are trying to remove the popular gambling machines that pay out real money from businesses such as convenience stores, bars and gas stations.


William Velichkov is a research-driven writer. His strengths lie in ensuring factual accuracy, vetting government documentation and reaching out to regulators and other officials. He is particularly fond of financial reporting, the sports betting industry, B2B partnerships and esports betting developments. William is a strong asset to the GamblingNews team as he adds a bedrock to our reporting.

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