Casinos near lexington, ky - try keene or cincinnati

When you think of Kentucky, horse racing probably comes to mind before gambling. However, if you’re looking for the best land-based casinos near Lexington, Ky., you might leave a little disappointed. The state of Kentucky doesn’t have any commercial casinos spread across the state.

The only place where you can try your luck at the felt or spin some slots is at the race tracks. Even then, only two of them have licensed historic horse racing machines (HHR). If that isn’t an issue for you, stay with us as we cover all the details about casinos near Lexington, Kentucky.

Keene, S.C. – 45 Minutes

If you are driving from Lexington to Keene, you will need around 45 minutes to cover the 28-mile distance. You are wondering why the top of this list isn’t one of the Lexington casinos. Unfortunately, there is no best casino Lexington KY has within its city borders, let alone in the state.

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That’s why we are looking at the best attractions for Kentucky gamblers – Cherokee Creek Casino & Hotel in Keene, South Carolina. This Native American venue is open 24/7, and you can choose between 600 of the latest slot machines, electronic roulette, and 35 live table games.

You can enjoy exciting games such as Miss Sinatra, King Chameleon, or Golden Goddess while chasing some great bonuses. If you get hungry or thirsty, visit the Rebel Yell Lounge & Bar or one of the two restaurants. Rebel Yell Moonshine Celebration is definitely worth checking out if you like quality spirits.

This may not be what you were looking for when searching for “casinos near me in Lexington, Ky,” but it’s as close as it gets.

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Cincinnati, OH – One Hour

If you don’t mind crossing the state border, our next suggestions should intrigue you. There are three awesome places where you can find the best gambling near Lexington, KY. Hawaii Poker IN in Cincinnati doesn’t have slot machines or live table games, so we are skipping it.

Two remaining venues are the diamond of Cincinnati, and you’ll understand why after we present their amenities.

Horseshoe Casino

One of the closest casinos to Lexington, Ky, Horseshoe Casino opened its doors to the public in 1995. It took nearly $200 million to build this massive building and bring the best Las Vegas-style gambling experience to Kentucky residents.

Naturally, you don’t have access to all of it if you are among the things to do near Lexington, Ky, “visitor” and not a “resident.” Even so, you can still enjoy a lot of gambling fun at the Horseshoe. There are more than 1,200 machines at your disposal, featuring popular titles such as King of Egypt and Diamond Slipper.

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You can also join the action at the baccarat, blackjack, mini-baccarat, pai gow, poker, and Texas hold ‘em tables.

There are 20 poker tables where you can play No-Limit Texas Hold’em in any limit held in Cincinnati. You can also enjoy Omaha, Seven Card Stud, and other variants.

As far as promotions go, you can take part in daily high-hand jackpots or sit down during the special weekend jackpot sessions.

Of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg. The Horseshoe is the top casino near Lexington, Kentucky, for a reason. You can also enjoy live poker rooms, one of the best sportsbooks in the region, fantastic shows, delicious food, and much more!

Hollywood Casino

Another superb HQually 30 minutes from downtown Cincinnati is the Hollywood Casino. This venue has almost 95% of the games as its “sister” facility, meaning you can play hundreds of slot machines and 28 table games (blackjack, craps, Spanish 21, etc.).

Hollywood Casino is home to the biggest poker room in Cincinnati, featuring 20 tables and hosting various tournaments.

Its “celebrity” status also makes it one of the top attractions for tourists and is often mentioned among the “things to do near Lexington, KY.” It won’t measure up to the “must-visit list” attractions like the Kentucky Horse Park or Ashland, The Henry Clay Estate. Still, it’s right up there with the Bluegrass Distillers Battle or Keeneland Race Course.

It does have a long list of live performers, including country singers like John Berry and Collins Brothers. If you get lucky, you might even run into one of the many celebrities who visited the casino in the past. We could keep going on and on about the Hollywood Casino; perhaps it’s best to check it out yourself.

Elizabeth, IN – One Hour

Hollywood Casino is not the only entertainment venue owned by Caesars Entertainment. French Lick Resort is another of their properties, and it’s roughly a 60-mile drive from Lexington. You will have to cross the state border, but the best casino near Lexington, Ky, is well worth the trouble.

This resort cost $600 million to build and opened its doors to visitors in 2006. It has two legal gambling casinos – Clinton House Casino and West Baden Springs Casino. Although both venues are spectacular, it’s the latter that attracts most guests.

There are 500 workers of artisanal glass from Italy that form the world’s largest dome. Add more than 500 slot machines and 40+ table games, and you get an unforgettable gaming experience. You can also watch the croupiers at the live roulette table or try your hand at poker in the adjacent lounge.

Clinton House Casino is slightly smaller but no less impressive. This Lexington-area casino has 250 historical racing machines (HRM) and is open 24/7.

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Even though it’s not a real , these machines are pretty close. All the excitement of betting on horses is there, i.e., you can wager on multiple horses per race and benefit from various wagers, such as exotics and super high-5s, which offer significant payouts.

French Lick Resort is arguably the top pick for anyone looking for casinos near Lexington, Kentucky. And there’s so much more!

Apart from the two , French Lick Resort offers a luxury hotel, several high-end restaurants and cafes, a spa, golf courses, and so much more!

Milan, IN – One Hour and 15 Minutes

Blue Chip Casino, Hotel and Spa is another of Gary, Elias and Ron J. Chetrit’s creations. These visionaries built Majestic Star Casinos in Michigan City, Ind., and turned them over to Mount Airy Casinos, Runway Girlfriends’ home casino company.

They sold the Blue Chip property in 2012 for $30 million and are now trying to repeat their success. So far, they’ve done a good job as Blue Chip Casino is one of the top gambling spots in the region.

Whether you are looking for the best Lexington casino action or simply passing through the area, you might love this venue. There are more than 500 of the newest slot machines spread across the 30,000 sq.ft gaming floor.

Choose between some of the most popular titles, such as Zeus, Shelia’s Wonderland, China Shores, and many others. Maybe slot machines aren’t your thing? Well, you can also try your luck at live American Roulette, Blackjack, or Craps tables.

We’re certain you’ll have a hard time choosing between the delicacies prepared at Bobby’s Rooftop Bar & Grille, Dine by the Sea Restaurant, Sable Lounge, Blue Chip Bistro, Buffalo Wild Wings, Captain Kid’s, and the Magnolia’s Inn Buffet.

You can also pamper yourself at Aaya Indian Spa & Salon or buy various gifts for your friends and family members at Blue Chip Gift Shop or Stokes & Lloyd Jewelers.

Perhaps the only downside is that none of this is inside the 35-mile radius from Lexington, KY. Nevertheless, it’s still one of the top casinos near Lexington, Kentucky, and deserves your attention.

Harrison, OH – One Hour and 30 Minutes

Belterra Park Gaming & Entertainment is the place to be if you enjoy historic racing machines (HRM). There are 1,150 such machines spread across the 42,000 square feet big venue. The Belterra Park is the only gambling facility located in Cincinnati, so you won’t have to worry about crossing the state border again.

The casino is open 24/7, but we recommend you contact them before planning your trip. Covid-19 forced many businesses to change their working hours and take similar measures, so it’s best to double-check.

Betting on historic races is the main attraction here, but you can also indulge in various other activities. Enjoy a day at the Turf & Surf Grill or treat yourself to a dessert at the Sweet Meadows Café. If you’re looking for something different, Center Bar & Lounge could be right up your alley.

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Sports fans shouldn’t feel left out either. Watch your favorite team play on the big screen at The Track Bar & Grill. The entire facility underwent a complete renovation in 2018, making it one of the most modern places for historic horse racing near Lexington, KY.

What About Online Gambling?

It doesn’t matter which of these casinos near Lexington, Ky, you choose because all of them are online, too. Okay, that’s not entirely true. Each has an in-house website, but for the online experience, you ought to try .

The internet has given players a lot of opportunities to enjoy their favorite games without having to leave the comfort of their homes. You can play the best online slots from your couch, mobile device, or tablet, wherever you are.

Making a deposit and withdrawing your money is also easy, especially if you use the recommended . Once again, is the best choice for Kentucky residents as it accepts a wide range of payment methods.

Find Your Ideal Casino Near Lexington, KY!

All that’s left for us is to summarize this article about the best casino near Lexington, Ky. The Bluegrass State doesn’t allow any commercial casinos within its borders. Fortunately, there are no laws prohibiting Kentuckians from playing slot machines and table games in nearby states.

Keene, SC, is the closest casino from Lexington, offering 600 slot machines and nine live table games. If you are willing to cross the state border, you’ll have your pick from numerous first-class casinos.

The closest Lexington casino from that group is the Horseshoe Casino in Cincinnati. This Las Vegas-style gambling venue has dozens of baccarat, blackjack, craps, poker, and pai gow tables, along with hundreds of slot machines.

Hollywood Casino is yet another iconic gambling spot you can find near Lexington. The star of many movies and TV shows, this casino has plenty of slot machines, table games, and a large poker room.

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Those of you seeking luxurious accommodations should head towards French Lick Resort. Its two casinos have nearly 1,000 slot machines and 40+ live table games.

If nothing above fits the things you look for in gaming venues, maybe online gambling is your cup of tea. In that case, check our guide on how to join online gambling sites in Kentucky and see our top picks for 2023.

We presented the best casinos around Lexington, now it’s time to hear from you. Which gambling spots would you add to our list, and why is it better to gamble online from Kentucky? Search your answers and share them in the comment section below.

Jim Allen is a legature groomer, freelance writer for over 10 years on topics related to gambling, lifestyle, politics, and religion.

Before turning to writing full-time, Jim worked as a casino manager and gambling consultant across the USA. He has a wife, Susan, daughter, Emily, and son, Tom. Email: