One of the latest states to consider online poker as well as sports betting in the United States is Kentucky. While the state is not home to casino gaming, they may soon be able to offer online poker games and sports wagering, if HB 175 is able to pass into law.
Republican Representative Adam Koenig is one of fifteen sponsors helping to push HB 175 along. The bill would authorize not only sports betting but also online poker gaming. The language of the bill places the Lottery Commission of the state in charge of regulating the new industries. Poker would be offered to players who are 18 years of age or older with revenues taxed at 6.75%.
With sports betting, the tax rate is a bit higher at 10.25%. This percentage applies to in person bets. With online betting involving sports, the tax is even higher at 14.25%. Operators who wish to offer sports betting will have a pay a licensing fee of $1 million.
With the introduction of the legislation, Kentucky is one of three states that are currently working towards passing online poker gaming into law. New York and West Virginia are also considering similar legislation.
In the past, Kentucky tried to see changes to their gambling landscape, but any legislation involving changes was never successful. The state has held an anti-gambling stance for man years now and in the past, were known to be strongly opposed to online gaming. Back in 2008, the state tried to seize domain names of online poker sites in the hopes of shutting down services.
They also have taken on major poker giants such as The Stars Group, the parent company of PokerStars. The state is still involved in a lawsuit where they are trying to gain hundreds of millions of dollars from The Stars Group after PokerStars continued to operate in the state after the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act was passed in 2006.
Even though the state has been anti-online poker, there is hope that this bill will pass. Tying it to sports betting might have been a smart idea as lawmakers may be more open to the legislation as sports betting is gaining ground steadily across the nation.