01/17/2006 1:00AM

Kentucky OK's bet-hub rules


The Kentucky Horse Racing Authority on Tuesday approved a set of regulations that would govern account-wagering hubs and assess fees on their operations.

No national account-wagering hubs are currently located in Kentucky, but state racing officials hope that the rules will generate interest from telephone and Internet betting companies that currently have their hubs in Oregon.

The Kentucky rules call for the operations to be assessed a per-day licensing fee of no more than $200, and also for a regulatory charge of no more than 1 percent of handle. Oregon currently charges account-wagering hubs 0.25 percent of handle as a licensing fee.

Jim Gallagher, the executive director of the authority, said Tuesday that Kentucky regulators have not yet discussed the exact rates that the hubs would be charged if any decide to relocate to the state.

"We're hoping that the rules will generate some interest from the companies so that we can get our hands around what a competitive rate would be," Gallagher said.

Four account-wagering companies that have a hub in Oregon - Television Games Network, AmericaTab, Youbet.com, and XpressBet - were on track to take in more than $1 billion in wagers last year, based on figures for the first nine months of the year.

The rules have been submitted to the state's Legislative Review Commission, and will not be formally enacted for another three months.