When the Kentucky Senate decided to approve Kentucky racetracks to operate an electronic horse racing, they did so to boost the profits of a struggling industry. Read more.
But in allowing racetracks to offer this form of gambling, aren’t they really opening the door if only just a crack, to online gambling, of sorts?
The game that is being permitted is not online gambling in it’s purest form, in fact it’s more of a slot-like instant racing game where bettors play against other bettors on previously run unidentified races. The winners are then declared once the wagering is complete. The question is, can this form of gambling eventually lead to Online gaming? The answer is probably a big hell no, but it’s interesting to see how the forces that have the pull to get gambling legislation passed in their favor maneuver. Case in point, Marty Maline, executive director of the Kentucky Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association, which includes owners and trainers, was pushing for the addition of video poker video blackjack as electronic “games of skill” to boost revenue.
Games of skill. I’ve heard that term tossed around before with online poker. Even though just having video black jack and other electronic games of skill would likely require a constitutional amendment, let’s say it does pass under a game of skill, I’m always curious to see how a game earns that classification of requiring skill. Doesn’t any game require skill to play it correctly? Let me be more specific, doesn’t online poker require skill? Certainly if video poker and video blackjack were to be considered games of skill, then surely poker has to be thrown into the mix.
It appears to me, that the Senate is always having to tippy toes around the issue of online gambling, and online poker as a game of skill, perhaps because it rarely benefits them. Kentucky is real quick to tax online gambling on horses but hesitant to allow full fledged online gambling. It doesn’t really make sense, if you look at what is happening in Iowa, where casinos are able to offer online gambling to their residents, Kentucky could reasonably incorporate a similar model with their horse racetracks and then tax the shit out of it, which would really boost profits for the struggling industry.
Probably won’t happen. But if the horseracing industry in Kentucky, which basically seems to drive the state, continues to feel the pinch, I won’t be surprised to see drastic changes in legislation to bail them out.