LEXINGTON, Ky.— The Kentucky Equine Education Project (KEEP), Kentucky’s equine economic advocate, released a white paper outlining KEEP’s position on legal sports wagering in Kentucky. The white paper details what will be critical to allow for a successful implementation of sports wagering in Kentucky, following the Supreme Court of the United States’ ruling in May that struck down the previous law that limited sports wagering to just a few states.
The white paper, which can be accessed here, provides four key criteria that any proposed legislation in Frankfort should include in order to secure continued success for Kentucky’s signature industry, as well as provide an environment for sports wagering that will benefit the state’s budget and Kentuckians across the Commonwealth. The four criteria are:
- Sports wagering is made available at Kentucky’s racetracks
- The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission is named the regulatory body overseeing sports wagering
- The tax rate on sports wagering is competitive
- A portion of any revenues on sports wagering benefits the horse industry
Doug Cauthen, chairman of the KEEP Board of Directors, commented on the release of the white paper, “KEEP has worked diligently, over the past several months with member racetracks, farms, owners and horse enthusiasts all throughout the industry, to reach a position on sports wagering that unifies the industry. Fortunately, the horse industry sees the great opportunities that exist for legalized sports wagering in Kentucky and have coalesced around this white paper.”
Elisabeth Jensen, KEEP’s executive vice president who oversees the organization’s daily operations, added, “Now it is critical that the legislature takes up the issue in an expeditious manner to prepare for January’s session. With sports wagering already becoming available in a number of other states, Kentucky must be at the forefront of this opportunity and not wait until neighboring states have acted and it is too late. KEEP applauds the work of the bipartisan panel of legislators currently working on this issue and we look forward to sharing the white paper with them.
“Coming to consensus on anything can be difficult in an industry with interests as disparate as ours. However, on this issue, we all see the great potential that sports wagering can bring to the state. Currently, Kentucky’s horse racing industry is unparalleled in nearly every metric when compared to other states. Not only could sports wagering benefit the state financially, but it can also be done in a way that will preserve and grow the success that horse racing has seen in this state over the last decade.”