New Bill to Legalize Sports and Poker Betting in Kentucky

Kentucky Senator, David Yates, has introduced a bill that seeks to legalize sports betting, fantasy sports, and online poker in Kentucky. The state is one of many in America that are considering or already have legalized online sports betting and gambling. At this rate, the US is on track to become the largest regulated iGaming market in the world.

Titled Senate Bill 213, the bill was referred to the Committee on Committees by the Louisville-based senator, and it details the legal running of online and live sports wagering, fantasy contests, and online poker.

According to the bill, the state will only allow sports wagering at licensed, licensed racetracks, professional sports venues, or on a mobile app. However, members will be required to register in person before they can use these services.

The In-person mandatory registration will be lifted in 2024, and the mobile apps will be open for download by players anywhere- as long as they are 18 years and above.

Furthermore, the bill suggests a 9.75% tax rate on adjusted gross revenue from retail bets. However, online bets will be subject to a 9.75% tax rate.

The bill pegs fantasy sports operators' registration fees at $5,000 with an annual renewal fee equal to either 6% of adjusted gross revenues for the previous year or $5,000. It also mandates all fantasy sports operators that want to continue operating in the state to register by 15 January 2023.

Operating online poker in the state comes with a fee of $250,000 and an annual fee of $10,00. An operator will also pay a 6.75% monthly tax fee on net poker revenue.

On the aspect of safe gambling, the bill mandates all online poker operators to have age verification protocols to ensure that only adults aged 18 and above get to play on their sites. They will also have to ensure that their platform features geolocation software to prove that only Kentucky residents have access to their site's offers.

The revenue generated from gambling will go into the wagering administration fund. From this fund, the state will deposit 5% into the Problem Gambling Assistance account, while the rest will be remitted into the Kentucky Permanent Pension Fund.

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