Kentucky Establishes Independent Oversight for Sports Wagering

A newly established Kentucky Sports Wagering Division will now operate independently from the existing Pari-Mutuel Wagering Division, which has overseen Kentucky sports betting regulations since its legalization in September 2023.

House Bill 281 successfully navigated the legislative chambers of the Kentucky General Assembly. Having reached the Governor’s desk for review and consideration, Gov. Andy Beshear signed the bill into law on March 13.

HB 281, a collaborative effort between Republican Representative Michael Meredith and Democratic Representatives Al Gentry and Cherlynn Stevenson, was introduced on January 17th. This bipartisan bill aims to address various issues.

After thorough consideration and debate, it successfully passed the House with an overwhelming vote of 84-2 during its third reading on February 12th. A month later, it underwent further scrutiny in the Senate and garnered a vote of 37-1, demonstrating strong bipartisan support across both chambers.

Related Pages: Kentucky Sports Betting | Legal Sports Betting States | North Carolina Sports Betting

Division of Compliance

One of the most significant provisions of HB 281 is the establishment of the Division of Compliance, a new entity empowered to oversee and audit the revenue streams administered by the commission. Hence, this responsibility shift entails transferring auditing duties from the previously tasked pari-mutuel division to the newly formed Division of Compliance.

Chauncey Morris, Director of the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association, emphasized the increasing significance of legal gaming revenues to the state’s general fund. He noted that the Racing Commission must now extend its proficiency to oversee other legalized forms of gaming efficiently.

“The Racing Commission, which is already at the top of its game in regulating the live portion of our industry, needs to be well versed in and be able to adequately and efficiently regulate the other forms of gaming that the General Assembly has legalized, like sports wagering,” Kentucky Thoroughbred Association director Chauncy Morris said last month.

The Horse Racing Commission’s director, Jamie Eads, further stressed the significance of compliance, saying that it necessitates extensive audits of the funds remitted to the Commission. She emphasized that to ensure rigorous conformity, a division director would regularly examine laws and rules and compare them with those of other jurisdictions.

Kentucky’s Sports Betting Revenue

In the sports betting revenue report, Kentucky’s strong performance in the final two months of 2023 allows it to surpass expectations in tax revenue. With a total handling of $546.6 million during this time, $55 million was made in revenue. Interestingly, sportsbooks found December was very profitable, with a 12% hold compared to 7.9% in November.

This means $32.7 million was made on a $264.1 million handle. The Bluegrass State’s overall tax income during the last quarter of 2023 was a healthy $15 million.


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Tebearau Egbe

Tebearau Egbe

Tebearau Egbe is a seasoned gambling writer with more than four years of experience. Armed with a Masters degree in philosophy, Egbe possesses a unique ability to dissect complex industry developments, distilling them into insightful narratives that captivate readers.

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