FRANKFORT — Legislation calling for state licensing of companies that enable people to make online horse racing bets advanced Wednesday as Kentucky lawmakers try to get a handle on the fast-growing operations.
The bill that easily cleared the Senate State and Local Government Committee would require that advance deposit wagering providers be licensed by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission.
It also would require ADW operators to provide quarterly reports on all wagers made on Kentucky races.
The measure, already approved by the House, now heads to the full Senate.
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Online and phone betting done through ADW providers have become the fastest-growing segment in parimutuel horse wagering, said Sen. Damon Thayer, R-Georgetown. It's time to start tracking those enterprises, he said; the information could lead to comprehensive legislation next year dealing with Kentucky's Thoroughbred industry.
Lawmakers have grappled with concerns from industry advocates that Kentucky horse racing is falling behind tracks in other states that have boosted purses, largely through alternative gaming.
A portion of many wagers made on Kentucky horse races goes into a fund that boosts purses for Kentucky-bred horses at Kentucky tracks. The levy doesn't apply to ADW wagers, Thayer noted.