Last week saw the introduction of a new gambling bill in the State of Kentucky that aims to legalize online poker, sports wagering, and daily fantasy sports. The proposed law, titled House Bill 175, was introduced by Rep. Adam Koeing, and it is backed by 14 other legislators. According to Koeing, legalizing regulated online gambling in the state is long overdue, and the lawmaker also thinks that residents of the Kentucky should be given the freedom to engage in legal wagering if they wish to.
Kentucky Lottery to oversee online poker
The new Kentucky bill will not authorize live poker rooms. Instead, it makes provisions for iPoker, and the market will be regulated by the Kentucky Lottery. In addition, the Lottery will also be allowed to enter into contracts with other online poker companies for the provision of wagering services to the citizens of the state who are 18 years or older.
A section of the bill also goes on to explain that expanding the offerings of the Lottery to include online poker games is important since it will maximize the State’s revenues while providing the citizens with entertainment.
At the moment, Kentucky does not have a casino within its borders, but those living in the state might be able to enjoy online wagering soon, thanks to Bill HB 175.
The proposed law is clear about how online poker, among other forms of gambling, will be conducted in the jurisdiction.
Firstly, it provides the defines iPoker as any type of poker for example Texas Hold’em, Seven-card stud, and five-card draw played on the internet via electronic devices like mobile phones and computers. Games of chance like video lottery terminal (VLTs) and slot machines using card symbols will not be considered as online poker. In addition, live poker rooms are also excluded.
Another section of the bill suggests that the Lottery be allowed to set limits on the amount of money staked by players in a poker game, but it will not be mandatory. Also, the corporation will provide the guidelines for age and verification. Lastly, operators will be required to remit revenue to the Commonwealth of Kentucky at the rate of 6.75%.
The state of legal online poker in the country
At the moment, online poker is only legal in four US states: Nevada, New Jersey, Delaware, and Pennsylvania. The first three states are already taking wagers, but PA is looking forward to rolling out online casino games soon. However, just like with sports betting, the legalization of online poker is gaining momentum across the country, and several states already have bills in the works. Those that have already tabled bills to push for legalization include New York, West Virginia, and Michigan.