The window established by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission envisions sports betting to get underway in the next six months, and hopefully on time for big events such as the National Football League (NFL).
Kentucky Sets Timeline on Sports Betting Passage
Senator Damon Thayer, one of the bill’s sponsors, has confirmed for local media outlets that the racing commission is hoping to have a much shorter timeline for the rollout of some sports betting activities. The thinking goes that in-person and brick-and-mortar sports betting could start just in time for the NFL.
From thereon in, the activity can extend further. Should brick-and-mortar be the first activity to kick off, there will be nine licensed venues in the state where sports betting can take place. Meanwhile, each track can host up to three digital licensees, putting the total at some 27 online sportsbooks.
Kentucky is likely to bring a hefty chunk of sports betting handle, too, with the estimated amount set at around $180 million monthly. Meanwhile, the state expects this steady betting handle to turn into around $22 million a year in tax money from sports gambling. The funds will be used as intended in the original bill.
Tax money will go to bolster the state’s pension system which has been struggling so much that it was dubbed as one of the worst in the country. The sports betting tax money won’t be enough to save it, but they will contribute something. Interestingly, Kentucky wants to focus on plugging the financial gap there rather than using the money for education, for example.
Time to Bring Back Sports Betting Handle from Ohio and Indiana
Thayer did acknowledge that the recent legislation passage was a very close call and one that might not happen at all had it not been for a few very needed votes at the end.
Meanwhile, Kentucky is also hoping that it will start clawing back some of the sports gambling revenue that it is losing to Ohio and Indiana, which have been alluring prospects for state residents who have been betting there in the absence of regulated sports gambling at home.
The expediency with which Kentucky readies and launches its sports betting framework will be revealed in the coming months. Until then, everyone hopes to be able to avoid the trip to a neighboring state and place a bet in the Bluegrass State this football season instead.