Regulatory momentum can often be stemmed. Sometimes it’s inertia, sometimes it’s lack of support but when it happens – progress is set back. This is what happened with Kentucky’s promising H 175, an online poker bill
Kentucky Online Poker and Gambling Deferred to 2020
Kentucky’s hopes of seeing a bill regulating its online gambling industry in 2019 have been dashed, at least for now.
According to Rep. Adam Koenig, one of the main proponents and the author of the now in-hiatus H 175, has told local media outlet Insider Louisville, that there has been no discussion regarding the future of online poker and gambling in the state.
As a result, the bill has been officially shelved to await new deliberations in 2020 rather than lip along from one session to the next. Mr. Koenig, explained the situation thus:
Nothing is really dead until midnight on the last day of session, but needing a supermajority of votes was too high a bar to get in a short time period.
And supermajorities are hard to come by, even if the bill enjoys solid support as is the case.
Make It Easy on Yourself: A Simple Passage for H 175
Despite the upbeat statement, by the end of his sit-down with Insider Louisville painted a more realistic picture saying that the supporters of the bill will regroup and try with a better plan for next year.
Finding a super majority in 2019 would prove a far more challenging undertaking than finding the simple majority Mr. Koenig plans on pursuing in 2020.
Mr. Koening is right to seek the “easy way out”, as a simple majority would only necessitate a 60 percent vote in both the House of Representatives and the Senate, a scenario that is likely to pull off even in the case of political headwinds.
Kentucky’s Online Poker Bill Is a Leg-Up for the Economy
Kentucky’s online gaming bill is no piecemeal legislation. It’s the whole shebang as they say with sports wagering, online poker and online gambling all lined up and ready to go.
In fact, the bill’s forward-thinking outlines scenarios where people can even use mobile apps and devices to place wagers anywhere in the state, replicating the success model of New Jersey, for example.
In purely financial terms, the licenses would fetch the state $500,000 for each permit and there will be extra taxes applied on gaming operation to the tune of 10.25 percent.
Furthermore, mobile apps will be taxed 14.25 percent, which is mostly done as a palliative to these lawmakers who fear that remote gambling would allow people from across the state border to participate and place wagers.
Every Penny Counts – Not Really
Kentucky has been embattled in its own pension fund woes with the state’s retirement scheme supporting a burdensome deficit.
Initially, it was thought that it could be possible for online gambling and the legalization of marijuana to help battle some of the deficit, but this idea has been thoroughly dismissed, hence the slight slow-down in the plans to pass online poker as a priority in 2019.