As the number of US states that allow legal sports betting continues to grow, gamblers in areas where sports betting doesn’t exist are now traveling to neighboring regions to place a bet.
This is especially true in areas of the country that border states that offer mobile sports betting. In these cases, residents of a state can drive across the border, park and bet on their cell phones.
Take Kentucky for example. Local politicians are incredibly conservative and are largely opposed to the prospect of legal sports betting in KY.
Punters in Louisville, KY can drive a few miles to Indiana and legally place wagers on pro and collegiate games using mobile sports betting apps on their iPhones, iPads, or Android smartphones or tablets, as long as they are connected to the internet are connected.
It’s no different than hopping across the border to buy Mega Millions lottery tickets or enjoy recreational marijuana should that state legally offer those options.
“People are literally walking across the border, parking, making their bets on the phone, and that tax revenue is flowing out of this state to other states.”
Kentucky State Representative Al Gentry
The message KY State Assemblyman Al Gentry intends to send to his co-legislators is that keeping legal sports betting dormant is fiscally irresponsible for their constituents.
The money spent out of state on domestic sports betting represents significant aggregate revenue that turns into taxpayer money and can have a drastic impact on supporting budget deficits.
To confuse matters further, horse racing betting is legal in Kentucky, largely due to the presence of the Kentucky Derby.
The 2023 legislative session began on January 3 in Kentucky, which is scheduled for May 5. House Representative Gentry plans to introduce a new bipartisan bill soon in hopes of legalizing domestic sports betting
“[The new bill] will legalize sports betting, in the same manner as before, which would be administered by the Horse Racing Commission and which we believe would generate more than $20 million a year in tax revenue for the state.
KY Rep. Gentry
There is no word on what types of sports betting will be allowed. If tax collection is the primary concern, then allowing online sports betting and mobile sports betting apps will likely be part of the new legislation.
The reason is simple. States that allow online and mobile sports betting generate much more revenue than states that only offer brick-and-mortar businesses.
The convenience of betting on your phone from anywhere in the state far outweighs the desire to travel to a local venue and place a wager in person.
One element that could prevent Gentry’s new sports betting law from making headway is Kentucky’s large population of citizens falling below the poverty line. Politicians representing these regions of KY are likely to oppose any measures that entice low-income families to spend their dollars on sports betting.
Source – Spectrum News 1