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AGA urges Kentucky Senate to pass sports betting bill

Kentucky gambling news

The President and CEO of the American Gaming Association (AGA), William Miller, has urged the Kentucky Senate to approve House Bill 551, which would legalize sports betting within the state.

In a letter addressed to the Kentucky Senate, Miller wrote that the AGA “is encouraged by the passage of House Bill 551 in the House of Representatives and urges the Senate to approve the legislation to ensure Kentuckians have legal, regulated options to safely engage in sports betting rather than continue to rely on illegal channels”.

He pointed out in his letter that six of the seven states neighboring Kentucky have already legalized sports betting. This, he emphasized, leaves Kentucky citizens who want to engage in sports betting with the options of either traveling to a neighboring state or placing bets with an illegal offshore sportsbook.

According to research by the AGA, an estimated $64 billion is wagered each year through illegal sportsbooks. This means that these operators don’t pay state taxes, lack legal obligations to pay winning bettors, do not implement age-verification requirements to protect minors, and often don’t prioritize responsible gaming.

On the other hand, the research conducted by the AGA acknowledged that legalizing sports betting provides several benefits such as consumer protection, increased transparency, and generates tax revenue for the state. Miller said it is therefore crucial to establish a secure and regulated environment in which the people of Kentucky can engage in this activity.

GeoComply, a geolocation company, recorded more than 295,000 geolocation verifications in Kentucky during the initial weekend of the NCAA’s March Madness competition, all of which were blocked.

House Bill 551, which is under consideration by the Senate, would permit licensed horse tracks and the Kentucky Derby to collaborate with up to three online sports betting skins, creating a maximum of 27 operators within the state.

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