The lack of gambling laws in the United States makes sports betting one of the most profitable businesses in America. However, like other businesses, there are regulations that need to be followed. Like any other business, there are regulations that should be followed as well as licenses that must be obtained before conducting sports betting in the United States. Unlike other businesses, however, there is no federal law that prohibits sports betting offshore. Although several attempts at the 2021 municipal legislative sessions, Kentucky representatives did introduce HB241 in January, offering some hope for successful efforts to set up state-licensed sports betting across the state.
The main proposal in favor of legalizing sports betting in Kentucky would be to create a legalized sports gambling sports books in Kentucky. This act could create the “Kentucky Horse Racing Commission” which would be responsible for the regulation, control and license of all licensed sports wagering in the state of Kentucky. Currently, three sports wagering sites are licensed to conduct sports betting in Kentucky; Balmoral Park, Canterbury Bank Baidook, and Ewing Park. The proposed bill would empower the commission to regulate these companies according to the regulations already established by the United States Department of the Treasury. Also included would be a provision allowing online sports betting sites access to all revenue generated by the three licensed sports wagering establishments for non-residential users.
There are some aspects of the bill which are interesting, but it seems to me that much of the proposed law would favor online gambling over live betting. For example, the bill states that all licensed sports books in Kentucky shall operate through a password system and be restricted from posting maximum bets to any one sports book. I don’t see how limiting access to a sports book will prevent individuals from taking part in online sports betting. Live sports betting is an activity which takes place at a real sports event, and it is an activity which can be duplicated on the internet with little difficulty.
Also, some Kentucky betting sites have expressed concern over the fact that their online customers’ credit cards would be required to make deposits to the sportsbooks. These companies claim that this practice is designed to encourage people to play at sportsbooks which may not have the best odds. According to the Kentucky Department of Revenue, the practice is perfectly legal since there is no penalty for refusing to make a deposit to a licensed business. Therefore, the Department of Revenue has not taken a position on whether or not credit card processing fees should be required of the customer when making a deposit to the various Kentucky betting sites. I have not been able to find any case history as to why credit card processing fees should be required of the customers of Kentucky betting sites.
Finally, two of the Kentucky lawmakers who authored the bill are hoping to put it into effect by the end of 2021. The current draft proposes that the law is in effect for one year. If it is enacted into law by the end of 2021 then the new law will become operative for all sportsbooks throughout the entire state-regardless of whether they are licensed to conduct business in Kentucky or not. This could be a problem for customers in other states, since many states have already passed legislation which repeals the law if it becomes law in a certain state. However, this is still a possibility, so I will leave it to you to research it further.
If the Kentucky lawmakers hope to hasten the process of legalizing sports betting in Kentucky, then they might want to think about how other states have legalized sports betting. A look at the recent history of how other states have legalized sports betting shows that legislators have been very eager to join the trend setters of other states such as Texas. Therefore, it only makes sense that they would want to duplicate the process.
The interesting part about how the Kentucky legislature may move forward with legalized sports betting in Kentucky is that the proposed law would need to pass before the end of the year. The last thing that any legislature wants to do is get stuck with an unpopular bill. Therefore, if the legislature passes a bill that is unpopular in Kentucky then they may have their share of political opposition ahead of the next general election. For instance, Kentucky sports betting bill that is passed by the legislature and signed by the governor may have widespread popular support in Kentucky but could cause political turmoil in statewide elections if it causes voter dissatisfaction. Therefore, I would recommend that you, as a wise consumer, do your research and determine what your own constituents think about a particular issue before taking a strong stand on it.