Lawmakers Try for Kentucky Betting, iGaming in New York

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A new bill in Kentucky aims to legalize most forms of sports betting, while legislation in the New York Senate seeks to legalize iGaming. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Attempts at gambling expansion

Lawmakers in Kentucky are pushing for legal sports betting, while a New York Senator has introduced a new iGaming bill.

would regulate the taxation of all types of online gambling

The sports betting proposal unveiled in Kentucky on Monday would see most forms of the activity become legal statewide. Another proposal would regulate the taxation of all types of online gambling, including online poker and fantasy sports.

Meanwhile, New York Senator Joseph Addabbo introduced Senate Bill 8412 last week. It would allow iGaming operators to roll out their offerings in the state. The bill has reached the New York State Senate Racing, Gambling, and Wagering Committee, which Addabbo chairs.

A fresh push in Kentucky

As reported by AP News, Kentucky Representative Adam Koenig commented on his sports betting bill on Monday, claiming it allows state residents to “do what they would like to do with their own money.” He believes that legalization will take most of the business in the state away from offshore platforms and bookies.

Previous attempts to legalize sports betting in Kentucky have proven unsuccessful to date. There are also only a few weeks left of the current legislative session, with the final day scheduled for April 14.

According to projections, legal sports betting would generate $22.5m in annual tax revenue for Kentucky. Six of the seven states that border Kentucky currently have legal sports betting, Missouri the only exception.

Lawmakers also revealed other gambling-related proposals on Monday, one of which relates to the taxation of pari-mutuel betting. Another proposal calls for a ban on “gray machines” which operate in a similar way to slot machines. They are common in many of the state’s convenience stores.

Lucrative proposal in New York

If iGaming legislation SB 8412 ultimately receives approval in New York, it would implement a 25% tax rate for online gaming operators. That’s significantly lower than the 51% tax rate for online sports betting revenue.

a one-time fee of $2m

Operators of land-based casinos in the state that get the green light for iGaming would have to pay a one-time fee of $2m. These properties could have up to two online casino partners. An independent contractor that provides an iGaming platform to a land-based casino and showcases its brand would need to pay a one-time fee of $10m.

Seven US states have legalized iGaming, including New York’s neighbors – Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and New Jersey. Online casino revenue reached more than $1bn last year in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

The bill estimates that iGaming tax revenue would reach around $475m each year, with the one-time license fees worth about $150m. Some of the arguments presented for legalizing iGaming in New York include the popularity of the iGaming sectors in neighboring states, as well as the success of New York online sports betting since its launch in January.