Kentucky Online Poker Bill FiledFebruary 12, 2019 6:20 pm
You can add another state to the list of states looking to bring regulated, legal online poker within their borders as a Kentucky online poker bill was filed last week.
Politicians looking to legalize online poker and sports betting in the state made the move as House Bill 175. It was filed by Republican Representative Adam Koenig and received a fair share of support with 14 co-sponsors.
Under the bill sports betting and online poker would become legal in Kentucky and be regulated by the state’s lottery commission.
How would Kentucky online poker bill work?
For online poker it would make it legal to play for anyone in the state aged 18 years or older. Online poker revenue would be taxed at 6.75 per cent. The regulations around sports betting included two different tax rates.
Revenue generated by in-person betting would be taxed at 10.25 per cent, while online sports betting revenue would be taxed at 14.25 per cent. Anyone looking to get into the sports betting game would also need to acquire a license at a cost of $1 million.
This is the first time a bill to legalize online poker in Kentucky has been filed. A bill to legalize sports betting in the state was filed last year following the Supreme Court ruling that allowed states to bring in sports betting, but the bill did not pass.
Kentucky betting history is long
Kentucky has an interesting history when it comes to gambling. The state has lottery and horse betting has been legal in the state for over 200 years. The state is home to one of the most heavily wagered upon horse races in the world, the Kentucky Derby. But there are no casinos in Kentucky and they’ve battled online poker providers in court in the past.
In 2010 the state filed a civil suit against Bwin.party Digital Entertainment after they withdrew from the US market following the passing of Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act. That suit was settled in 2013 for $15 million.
The state also has an ongoing legal battle with The Stars Group for $870 million. A judgement against The Stars Group was thrown out by the court of appeals in December, but that may change as the state is taking the case to the state Supreme Court.
How the state’s prior history with online poker and their past anti-gambling stance will affect HB 175 remains to be seen.