The American Gaming Association (AGA) has sent a letter to the Kentucky Senate, urging the passage of regulated sports betting legislation in the state.
AGA Highlights the Need for Regulated Sports Betting to Combat Illegal Wagering in Kentucky
AGA’s research has found that an estimated $64 billion is wagered each year with illegal sportsbooks, meaning that these operators do not pay state taxes, do not have a legal obligation to pay winning bettors, and often do not promote responsible gaming. By contrast, the research recognized that legal sports betting provides consumer protection and transparency while generating tax revenue for the state.
The letter notes that six of the seven states that border Kentucky have already legalized sports betting, leaving citizens who wish to wager with two options: travel to a neighboring state or place bets with an illegal sportsbook. The AGA argues that the state must pass regulated sports betting legislation to eliminate this gap.
House Bill 551, which is currently under consideration, would allow licensed horse tracks and the Kentucky Derby to partner with up to three online sports betting skins, creating a maximum of 27 operators in the state. This would break up any monopoly on the Kentucky market and give consumers more options.
In its concluding remarks, the AGA letter respectfully implores the Senate to take action, urging them to consider and pass legislation that would enable the people of Kentucky to engage in sports betting through regulated and safe channels, rather than relying on illegal means.
Kentucky’s Blocked Online Sportsbook Attempts Highlight Need for Regulated Options
The letter comes after geolocation checks by GeoComply found 295,000 blocked attempts at accessing online sportsbooks in other states during the opening weekend of March Madness in Kentucky. This indicates a clear demand for sports betting within the state, which AGA argues must be met with safety and regulation.
If the Senate approves House Bill 551, it would bring Kentucky in line with other states that have already legalized sports betting, including Indiana, Illinois, Tennessee, and West Virginia. It would also provide consumers with regulated options and generate revenue for the state, which could be invested in vital initiatives.
The AGA’s letter highlights the need for the Senate to act swiftly and decisively to regulate sports betting in Kentucky, to protect consumers and provide a legal, transparent option for those who wish to engage in sports wagering.