Kentucky Legislation Authorizes Wagering Hubs

Legislation introduced March 4 in the Kentucky House of Representatives would permit multi-jurisdictional simulcasting and interstate wagering hubs in the state. Licenses would be available to facilities that conduct live racing in Kentucky.

An applicant would have to submit a "detailed operating plan" that addresses programs for responsible wagering, and mitigation for the effects of account wagering on the market in which the wager is generated, among other things. Accounts could be established for individuals who reside outside of Kentucky, including in foreign countries.

A hub operator would have to pay the state a fee equal to 0.125% of total handle that passes through the hub.

Currently, Oregon has a similar law on the books. Several companies, including the TV Games Network, have set up betting hubs in that state.

Another bill also introduced in the House March 4 allocates some pari-mutuel revenue to the Kentucky Racing Commission for operations, and to the Cabinet for Familes and Children and the Kentucky Racing Health and Welfare Fund. The bill also calls for "annual symposium that promotes Kentucky's preeminence in the horse racing industry." A 15-member committee headed by the president of the University of Louisville would oversee the symposium.

Meanwhile, legislation that would permit the state's eight racetracks to install electronic gaming devices has led to introduction of another House bill. It calls for $25 million of revenue generated from gambling other than pari-mutuel wagering each year to go to a "pharmaceutical assistance program for the elderly."