Virginia on Tuesday became the latest state to make an earnest move toward legalizing sports betting in 2019 when Delegate Mark Sickles (D-District 43) prefiled HB 1638 ahead of the opening of the legislative session on Jan. 9, 2019. The bill, which will be referred to committee for discussion, calls for a 15 percent tax rate on sports betting adjusted gross revenue, and a $250,000 licensing fee. There is no mention of a “royalty” or “integrity fee” to be paid to the professional sports leagues.
Lawmakers in Tennessee and Kentucky have also prefiled bills ahead of their sessions and several other states, including Michigan, Maryland and Massachusetts have publicly discussed sports betting recently.
Since the Supreme Court struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act in May, seven states states outside of Nevada have either legalized or seen its authorized licensees begin accepting sports bets. Although Virginia is very much not a gaming state as casinos are prohibited by law, apparently sports betting may be on the table.
Kentucky Senator Julian Carroll (D-District 7) refiled an updated version of his sports betting bill on Friday. The bill, which would create the independent Kentucky Gaming Commission, calls for a 25 percent tax on net sports betting revenue as well as allowing the Kentucky Lottery Association and existing horse racing associations to be granted licenses. Any other interested venues may also apply.
The tax rate applies to commercial sportsbooks and vendors, but not the Lottery Association’s license. And the bill would give all the regulatory power, including, it appears, determining what types of events could be bet on and whether mobile/online wagering is permitted, to the new Kentucky Gaming Commission. Unsurprisingly, there is no mention of any sort of fee or royalty benefiting professional sports leagues.
Kentucky lawmakers and stakeholders have had a busy few months studying sports betting, and it’s likely the state will be among the first to seriously consider legalizing sports betting in 2019. Carroll’s bill is likely just one of several that will be filed and considered when the state legislature goes back into session. Carroll, a former Kentucky governor, is a member of the state’s “working group” on sports betting.
Expect Kentucky to among the first movers on sports betting when the state legislature goes back into the session in January. On Friday, state lawmakers heard from a bevy of sports betting and gaming professionals during a hearing before the Interim Joint Committee on Licensing, Occupations and Administrative Regulations. It was the second such meeting before an interim joint committee ahead of Kentucky’s 2019 session.
“I think you definitely will see one if not multiple bills in Kentucky,” said Global Market Advisors’ Director of Government Affairs Brendan Bussman. “There is definitely a will within some of the active members there who want to bring this up, and there is no reason why they shouldn’t.”
Though the hearing was comprehensive and there were plenty of questions from legislators, it’s unlikely that much will happen in the next month ahead of mid-term elections. That said, a sports betting bill was pre-filed earlier this year, a second is in the works, according to a source, and there could be more to come.
It was a busy summer for sports betting in Kentucky and it’s about to get even busier. Next week, the Interim Joint Committee on Licensing and Occupation will hold an extensive hearing exploring sports betting, according to co-chairman Adam Koenig. It will be the second interim joint committee meeting since Aug. 30.
On top of that, the NFL, NBA, Major League Baseball and PGA Tour have registered lobbyists in Kentucky, according to the latest update of the state’s registered lobbyists, dated Sept. 26. The move shows that the leagues believe that the Kentucky legislature will move on legalizing sports betting in 2019, and that they want a piece of the action, which means requiring sportsbooks to purchase “official league data,” among other things.
“I think they know there are going to be efforts and how successful we are is yet to be seen,” Koenig told Sports Handle on Tuesday. There will likely be “multiple bills and they want to be ready.”
Sports betting continues to get a lot of attention in Kentucky. A week after the state legislature’s Interim Joint Committee on Appropriations and Revenue held a hearing on the topic, and less than a month after a “working group” of state lawmakers had its first meeting, Bloodhorse and Breeder’s Cup are teaming up to sponsor a symposium on sports betting at Keeneland Sales Pavilion on Thursday, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader.
The symposium will be the most diverse of the meetings that have been held so far, and will include lobbyists from the horse world and the professional sports leagues, lawmakers, and industry representatives. Among the speakers scheduled are:
Greg Means, Alpine Group, National Throroughbred Racing Association lobbyist;
Sara Slane, American Gaming Association senior vice president of public affairs;
John Hindman, FanDuel/TVG general counsel for Fan Duel;
Bill Knaulf, Monmouth Park vice president of business operations;
Dan Spillane, NBA senior vice president for league governance and policy;
Kentucky lawmakers on Thursday got a primer on sports betting when staff members presented a detailed look at sports betting to the Interim Joint Committee on Appropriations and Revenue.
The presentation likely created more questions than answers, but it was a significant step for the Kentucky lawmakers who are pushing for legal sports betting. Kentucky’s state legislature is not currently in session, but interim joint committees keep the legislative process moving through the summer months. By opening the sports betting discussion on a formal level, the interim committee can help the standing committees it supports in both chambers to hit the ground running when the new legislative session begins in January. Senate Appropriations and Revenue chairman Christian McDaniel (R-District 23) requested the presentation to give committee members and overview of the sports betting issue.
The presentation lasted about a half hour and included:
An explanation of what the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act was;
A primer on the and the Supreme Court case Murphy vs. NCAA;
The possibility of a federal framework;
A brief look at how Nevada manages sports betting, it’s tax structure and revenue;
A look at the “integrity fee” or royalty that the professional sports leagues have been lobbying for;
Whether or not the Kentucky constitution allows for sports betting and possible ways to make sports betting legal (i.e. is a constitutional amendment required?); and
Who would oversee sports betting in the Bluegrass State.
KY Sports Betting Working Group Has Been Laying the Groundwork for Legal KY Sports Betting.
A nine-member “working group” of Kentucky legislators has been meeting through the summer to build a consensus on sports betting. The group has met twice and has reached two key decisions: Kentucky should tax net revenue, not handle, and the group does not endorse the integrity fee that the professional leagues have been lobbying for.
It’s unlikely that the bill that the working group files will include the fee. No state that has legalized sports betting since PASPA was struck down includes a royalty, and the only state that seems to be seriously discussing such a fee is New York.
See what State Senator Julian Carroll thinks about the bill by visiting SportsHandle using the link below:
Kentucky’s working group on sports betting appears to have come to at least two decisions regarding sports betting in the state – taxes will be based on net revenue and there will be no integrity fee paid to professional sports leagues.
“I believe there is a consensus that the appropriate tax on sports wagering is on net revenue and sports leagues will not receive any fees,” Julian M. Carroll, a former governor turned state senator told Sports Handle via e-mail.
Taxes are a critical component of any sports betting legislation, and the decision to tax based on net vs. handle is a key departure from the bill that Carroll himself pre-filed earlier this summer. That bill called for a 20 percent tax on handle. Kentucky is a big horse racing state and Carroll chose to include a tax on handle in his bill because that’s how the state taxes pari-mutuel betting.
None of the 6 States That Have Legalized Sports Betting Has an Integrity Fee. To continue reading this article, visit SportsHandle using the link below:
According to a study by the law firm Dinsmore & Shohl, LLP, it may well be. At Wednesday’s meeting of the Kentucky sports betting working group, lawmakers will hear that the firm’s study concludes that Kentucky is “a state that is in need of supplementary funding for the budget and the pension fund – could be friendlier to a casino or sports wagering bill, especially in light of the general public approval of sports wagering.”
That’s likely just what lawmakers want to hear. Beginning earlier this summer, a nine-member working group has been meeting with the idea of coming to a consensus on sports betting ahead of the next legislative session. Former Kentucky governor Julian Carroll, now a state senator, has been spearheading the effort and pre-filed a bill in June he hopes will be the foundation for future legislation.
Kentucky’s Politics Have Changed — and the State Has a Deficit — Potentially Making It More Receptive to Legal Sports Betting.
“We broadly discussed how sports wagering legislation has developed across the country and how we envision it take shape here in Kentucky,” Senator Julian M. Carroll told Sports Handle via e-mail. “My priority has been and remains to protect Kentuckians by regulating sports wagering and generating new revenue for Kentucky’s ailing pension systems.”
Kentucky badly needs additional revenue to rescue its pension systems and lawmakers have made no secret that that is the driving force behind exploring sports betting. Carroll, a former Kentucky governor, has been leading the charge and in June pre-filed a bill that he hopes will ultimately be the framework for the legalization of Kentucky sports betting.
Kentucky has Plenty of Sports Betting Ideas to Study as Three States Have Rolled Out Sports Betting in the Last Three Months and One More has Made it Legal.
There’s plenty for Bluegrass State lawmakers to consider: in the three months since the Supreme Court struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, Delaware, New Jersey and Mississippi have all rolled out sports betting, and Rhode Island has legalized it and is making preparations for launch. West Virginia legalized in March (pending SCOTUS) and after setting regulations, will see the Hollywood Casino in Charles Town take the state’s first legal wager before Sept. 1. And Pennsylvania has been working on sports betting regulations to implement its framework.
But before state lawmakers can vote on anything, they must first come to a consensus on what sports betting in Kentucky will look like. Monday’s meeting at Keeneland Racecourse was the first step in bringing varying opinions together. The working group including nine lawmakers from both chambers and both political parties:
Senator Julie Raque Adams (R-Louisville)
Rep. George Brown (D-Lexington)
Senator Julian Carroll (D-Frankfort)
Senator Morgan McGarvey (D-Louisville)
Rep. Kim Moser (R-Taylor Mill)
Rep. Jason Nemes (R-Louisville)
Rep. Diane St. Onge (R-Fort Wright)
Rep. Dean Schamore (D-Hardinsburg)
Rep. John Sims (D-Flemingsburg)
Of the nine, Carroll, Sims and Schamore have all filed sports betting bills, but none have gotten past committee. Carroll’s bill puts its focus on Kentucky’s horse racing industry and calls for sports betting at the state’s racetracks and OTB parlors. It allows for a 20 percent tax on handle, though, which will guarantee the kind of reaction from potential operators as in Pennsylvania, where a 36 percent tax on gross revenue has a caused a bit of a standoff with operators claiming they cannot make any money in such an environment.
Carroll told Sports Handle earlier this summer that the decision to tax handle was made because it mirrors the current Kentucky tax structure for pari-mutuel wagering.
Two Bluegrass State Sports Betting Bills Are Floating Around the State Legislature, But They Have Different Frameworks.
The house bill casts a wider net, calls for the state lottery commission to oversee sports betting and would allow for sport wagering at retail lottery outlets, as well.
Kentucky is not currently home to any full-fledged commercial casinos, but there are nine horse-racing venues, including the famed Churchill Downs, that are also “racinos,” as well as off-track betting parlors. Given that the initial proposed legislation comes at sports betting from different directions, the working group has much to discuss in the coming months.
“The working group will continue these discussions in future meetings to discuss details on the appropriate agency to administer sports wagering, the venues that may offer sports wagering, and the optimal tax rate to generate the most revenue for Kentucky,” Carroll said.
It’s likely that one of the easier issues to settle will be mobile betting and deposits, Carroll said, as the state already allows for both in pari-mutuel wagering.
The next working group meeting has been set for Aug. 22.