KY

Kentucky

Little / None

Kentucky is a particularly interesting state with respect to the recovery of gambling losses exceeding $5 within a 24 hour period as it allows for the person who lost and transferred such monies to bring action within five years to recover the monies lost. Furthermore, if the person does not bring the action within six months, then any person whomsoever may bring an action against the winner of the money by way of the illicit means of gambling within a five year period and recover treble (three times) the damages.  

The State of Kentucky operated under the legal premise of this bizarre statute when they sued Amaya Inc., the parent company of PokerStars, for damages incurred by players who lost money on the site despite the fact that the site was not operated or owned by Amaya Inc. at the time. Some might think that this lawsuit is completely bizarre, however, a Franklin County judge awarded 870 million dollars to the State of Kentucky under the treble damages clause.  

Unsurprisingly, Amaya is appealing the judge’s decision, and such appeal is ongoing.

Kentucky statute 528.010(7) provides for the definition of a player and specifics that acting merely as a player is a defense to any attempted prosecution under unlawful gambling laws:

(7) "Player" means a person who engages in any form of gambling solely as a contestant or bettor, without receiving or becoming entitled to receive any profit therefrom other than personal gambling winnings, and without otherwise rendering any material assistance to the establishment, conduct, or operation of the particular gambling activity. A person who engages in "bookmaking" as defined in subsection (2) of this section is not a "player." The status of a "player" shall be a defense to any prosecution under this chapter.

In other words, the Kentucky statutes specifically state that someone engaged in any form of gambling as a mere player can use such as a defense to any prosecution. Effectively, it is perfectly legal to engage in any form of gambling as a player rather than an operator.

While the laws are kind to mere players in Kentucky, it is clear from the Amaya ruling that players who lose money to online casinos (or in any other form of illegal gambling) could bring suit and are somewhat likely to prevail. In essence, such players could free roll on the casinos, however, it is unlikely that Kentucky would have any means of collecting any monetary findings against companies that are based entirely overseas.  

With respect to DFS, Kentucky follows a, ‘Predominance test,’ which goal is to determine whether DFS is more luck based or more skill based, for the time being DFS is legal and it appears that there is ongoing Legislation in an effort to regulate the industry within the state.  

In conclusion, due to the fact that the law does not contain any penalties for mere players in any form of gambling that the state considers illegal, and also because DFS is legal throughout the state, I am going to construe Kentucky as having Little/None in terms of restrictions as far as online gambling is concerned, just watch out not to get sued for treble damages if you are an operator and they somehow have the means to enforce payment!

 

FINAL RANKING: Little/None-5

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