OCCC criticizes KY sports betting laws over 18-20 year-old concerns

18+ sign
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The Ohio Casino Control Commission Executive Director Matt Schuler has blasted the Kentucky sports betting legislation for stipulating the legal age of 18. 

Citing the protection of younger people, Schuler stated that lawmakers in the Bluegrass State had made “a fundamental mistake” by allowing people aged 18-20 to gamble. 

As per WCPO, the OCCC chief described his “hate” that Ohioans under 21 could hop over to Kentucky and wager. 

He said: “I absolutely hate the idea that individuals under 21 can go across the border, open an account, and bet. I think it’s horrible.

“The age group that is most at risk of developing a gambling problem are males 18 to 35. The younger ones are most vulnerable as they’re not at the age yet where they can thoroughly process the consequences of their actions. Not my opinion. Scientific fact.

“The target audience for sports gaming are males, theoretically 21 to 35 but I suppose in Kentucky, 18 to 35. So, you have this convergence of the target audience being the most at risk.”

Kentucky Senate approved HB551, the sports betting bill, by a 25-12 vote back in March with the legal age for betting set at 18. 

Other parts of the bill include retail sports betting being taxed at 14.25% while online betting would go at a 9.75% rate. The bill would not allow for promotional credit deductions by operators.

Currently, the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission is building the team that will regulate sports betting in the state. 

The Commission is hiring staff to work across sports betting compliance as it prepares to take regulatory oversight of the new market. 

In preparation for a smooth launch, the KHRC is actively collaborating with neighboring regulators to share ideas on best practices and tips for regulating sports wagering. Though, after Schuler’s intervention, it is perhaps unlikely the KHRC is in dialogue with the OCCC. 
Gov. Beshear stated: “This is an exciting milestone. With the additional licensing and enforcement responsibilities, we have to add these jobs. That’s the first step towards the implementation of this program.”