04/01/2014 2:33PM

Account-wagering companies quiet on Kentucky tax


Major account-wagering providers had nothing definitive to say on Tuesday about how they would pay for a new 0.5 percent tax levied by the Kentucky legislature on wagers made by Kentucky residents through their operations.

The tax, discussed for several years but finally enacted in this year’s budget legislation, will assess a half-cent charge on every dollar wagered by Kentucky residents to shore up the state’s Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund.

The account-wagering companies have two options: they could place a surcharge on Kentucky residents to pay the tax, risking a backlash from customers, or pay out of their existing revenue streams.

John Asher, a spokesperson for Churchill Downs, which owns the dominant account-wagering operation, twinspires.com, said the company “is just now evaluating the measure and its potential impact.”

Don Scott, a spokesperson for TVG, the second-largest ADW company, would not specifically answer whether the company would pass the tax on to customers, saying TVG had “no official statement regarding this.”

Officials for XpressBet, the third-largest company and the administrator of an account-wagering site owned by Daily Racing Form, did not respond to inquiries about the tax by early Tuesday afternoon.