Second KY sports betting bill has in-person registration measure

Keeneleand racetrack starting gate
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Kentucky legislators hit the filing deadline for bills for the 2023 session on Wednesday. Getting in under the wire was a second sports betting bill from Rep. Michael Meredith. It differs from the other Kentucky sports betting bill, HB 106, in that it does not include online poker and DFS. It also introduces a one-year in-person registration requirement for the industry.

Meredith’s bill, HB 551, would allow for online and retail sports betting at the nine horse racing tracks in the state. Each track could have up to three skins. Each operator would pay a $500,000 upfront licensing fee with a $50,000 annual renewal fee. Operators working with the tracks would pay a $50,000 upfront licensing fee with a $10,000 annual renewal fee.

The industry would be overseen by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission with retail betting taxed at 9.75% and online betting taxed at 14.25%. There is no stipulation for promotional credit deductions.

Since betting on horse racing in Kentucky has an age requirement of 18 years old, the bill also sets the age threshold for sports betting at 18.

Online poker and DFS seemed to be part of the sticking points the bill ran into in the Kentucky Senate last year. Additionally, Kentucky lawmakers tend to only pass one major gambling bill each year. In 2021, the legislature focused on passing historical horse racing instead of sports betting.

That could be the same case this year, as lawmakers seem more concerned about a bill expressly outlawing gray machines seems to be the priority in Frankfort this year.

Kentucky is currently nearly surrounded by sports betting states with the recent launch of Ohio. Missouri is the only state of Kentucky’s neighbors that has yet to legalize the industry.