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This Week’s Betting News July 7th – 13th

Las Vegas Grand Prix Launch Party
An Oracle Red Bull Racing burns out on the Las Vegas Strip during the Las Vegas Grand Prix Launch Party Wade Vandervort AFP

As is tradition, OddsTrader briefly examines the top stories making waves in the landscape of U.S. sports betting and gambling. Below, we report on those that made headlines recently and will keep our readers informed as events progress.

Kentucky Poised to Launch in September

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear has long been an outspoken advocate of regulated sports betting in his state; therefore, it is not surprising he was at Monday’s Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) meeting in which the members approved emergency sports betting regulations.

Once the details were agreed upon, Beshear wasted no time in signing the bill that would bring sports betting to the masses in Kentucky.

“Fifty-nine days from now will be just in time for the NFL kickoff, tailgating, and for a large part of the college football season,” the governor said at a press conference immediately following the KHRC meeting. “Sept. 7 is the first regular-season game of the NFL. It’s also when Murray State plays Louisville, and it’s just a couple days before Kentucky plays EKU.”

According to the governor, retail betting will launch on September 7th, while mobile betting will kick off on September 28th, both during the NFL and college football season, a critical sports betting season.

“I am confident that on Sept. 7 and then on Sept. 28, it’s gonna work,” Beshear said. “It’s gonna be a pretty seamless experience for those spending their entertainment dollars, but I do believe there will be changes over time because we want the very best system that we can.”

Each of the state’s nine horse racing tracks will be eligible to have an in-person sportsbook as well as up to three mobile skins apiece, thus up to 27 maximum mobile betting platforms in the state will be allowed.

Retail, or in-person, sportsbooks will be taxed at 9.75% of the operators’ adjusted gross revenue (AGR), while online sports betting providers will be taxed at 14.25% of AGR. The state will collect a $500,000 licensing fee for racetracks and a $50,000 license fee for online sportsbooks. The governor has projected north of $20 million annually from sports betting tax revenue and believes it can increase in the future.

Ohio Sportsbooks Will Pay Double

Governor Mike DeWine has been lobbying for online sportsbooks operating in Ohio to pay more than the modest 10% tax that was initially legislated when mobile sports betting launched in the Buckeye State.

With a stroke of his pen, DeWine signed the biennial budget for fiscal years 2024 and 2025, and included in that document was a 20% tax rate of adjusted gross income for all digital sportsbooks in the state. That 100% tax increase became effective on July 1st and it was part of the governor’s wish list that he was granted.

However, the tax increase could be temporary, as the House allowed it to stay on the books as long as it could be part of an Ohio gaming study in the future. It should also be noted that unlike in many states, no promotional deductions are allowed until 2027, which runs counter to the conventional wisdom that the books need to spend the most on advertising at the beginning to attract early adopters as opposed to several years down the line when the market has been saturated.

Rep. Bill Seitz said, “The explanation given to me is we went along with the 20% but we fully expect the gaming study commission, which will be a bunch of legislators, would come back and say that the tax shouldn’t be 20%.”

“The governor’s argument, which I didn’t buy for a minute, is ‘Look at how much money these folks are spending on advertising. They’re trying to get people hooked on sports gaming and mobile apps. We need to curb the excessive advertising by the mobile app licensees, and how better to do that than double the tax rate’,” Seitz also added.

F1 Reveals Date for 2024 Las Vegas Grand Prix

The inaugural Las Vegas Grand Prix will be held on November 16th through the 18th, but Formula 1 is already giving fans a date for the second iteration, which will fall on November 21 to 23, 2024.

And those heavy hitters who want the complete package could shell out a cool $5 million for Caesars Entertainment’s Emperor Package. Any F1 fan with unlimited wealth can get the following for next year’s Las Vegas Grand Prix

  • A dozen Paddock Club passes throughout race week
  • Tickets to see Adele in concert at Caesars Palace
  • Five nights in a 4,700-square-foot terrace suite overlooking the racetrack
  • Around-the-clock butler service, and more.

And while we are not sure what the “more” is, it’s pretty safe to say that there will be no requests that go unfulfilled.

“We have plenty of racing to look forward to in 2023, including the inaugural Las Vegas Grand Prix, and our fans can look forward to more excitement next season,” stated an enthusiastic Stefano Domenicali, the President and CEO of Formula One.

Clark County commissioners unanimously approved recognizing the F1 Las Vegas Grand Prix as an annual event for at least 10 years, intending to make it an inextricable part of the Las Vegas calendar. “We anticipate a lifetime together in partnership,” said Commission Chairman Jim Gibson at the time of the announcement.


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