Kentucky online gambling bill vote coming this week?February 27, 2019 2:21 pm
With time ticking down on the current session of the Kentucky House of Representatives, a vote on HB 175 could be coming, if the sponsors of the bill can collect enough votes for it to pass.
The current session of the House will adjourn on March 30. That gives State Representative Adam Koenig, who introduced HB 175 which would legalize online poker and sports betting in the state, a month to get it passed and advance to the Senate.
Are there any Kentucky gambling law amendments?
The bill has already gone through a few changes after amendments were made by House committees last week. Amendments made to the online poker aspects of the bill included adding in language that all online poker must be “conducted in conformance with federal law.”
This likely had to do with the recent change of opinion regarding the Wire Act by the Department of Justice.
Another amendment added in committee that has major implications on online poker in Kentucky is the potential to exclude any “bad actors” from the industry. That could include any online operators who continued to operate in the US after the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act was enacted, such as PokerStars.
The taxes and fees on online poker as outlined in the bill remain the same. Operators would need to pay a $250,000 licensing fee and all online poker revenue would be taxed at 6.75 per cent.
What about sports betting in Kentucky?
For online sports betting there were also some notable amendments made by the House committees. Betting on “random events not integral to the course of play” was prohibited as was betting on entertainment events. Betting on any Kentucky college sports teams, even if they were playing out of state, would also be prohibited.
Also, the cost of a sports betting license was reduced from $1 million to $500,000. While the license fee was lowered the tax rate on sports betting remained the same, with on-site sports betting being taxed at 9.75 per cent and online sports betting being taxed at 14.25 per cent.
According to reports, Koenig expects to know by the end of the week if he has enough votes for the bill to pass the House.