On Friday, a hearing took place within the Interim Committee on Licensing, Occupations, and Administrative Regulations, discussing the subject of sports betting for the state of Kentucky. Topics included in the discussion process included tax rates, regulatory practices and integrity. Lawmakers listened to testimony from gaming stakeholders in the state to better learn how to successfully integrate the new industry within their borders.
The hearing revealed that some lawmakers in the state are in agreement that sports betting should be introduced in some form or fashion next year. Both Representative Al Gentry and Senator Julian Carroll showed their support for the industry. Carroll pointed out that he would approve of sports betting for lottery retailers and racetracks as well as in kiosk form, though limited, throughout the state.
Key points were highlighted throughout the hearing including the need for competitive tax rates and integrity monitoring systems. Also, on the docket were discussions on strong regulations as well as being sure to include mobile wagering.
Mobile wagering is a major point that every state needs to consider when reviewing sports betting or other gambling legislation. Today’s consumers are on their mobile devices more often than not. Because of the increase in mobile usage, for a state to be successful with sports betting, mobile capabilities need to be offered.
Brendan Bussman, the Global Market Advisors Director of Government Affairs, commented on the need for mobile wagering, pointed out that the option could be viewed as a convenience for consumers and it would benefit the non-gaming revenues at land-based facilities.
Now that the hearing has concluded, we know there is strong interest for sports betting in the state. Nine lawmakers have been added to a bipartisan panel that will study the impact that sports betting could have on the state in an effort to help consider if legislation should be created. The group tentatively has plans to pre-file a bill before the 2019 legislative session begins.