Kentucky Lottery IGT Extension Could Affect Sports Betting
IGT Global Solutions Corporation (IGT) signed a contract extension with the Kentucky Lottery Corporation. IGT’s parent company, International Game Technology PLC, announced Monday that the contract extension is for five years, through July 9, 2026.
The Kentucky Lottery is using its five one-year extension options in which IGT will deliver new self-service lottery vending machines and updated technology. The extension terms include IGT providing the Kentucky Lottery with additional 575 GameTouch 28 self-service vending machines and equip about 1,400 total GameTouch 28, GameTouch 20, and Game Touch Draw machines with cashless functionality, letting players use credit or debit cards to make vending purchases.
IGT also provides the Bluegrass State’s lottery with services beyond vending machines, including facilities management, field service, call center services and marketing support.
"The Kentucky Lottery Corporation looks forward to continuing the innovation and growth we have experienced with IGT since the Lottery began in 1989," Tom Delacenserie, Kentucky Lottery Corporation President and CEO, said according to an official IGT news release. "IGT's forward-thinking products and solutions have delivered convenience to our retailers and players for the last 30 years, and we're pleased to continue our longstanding partnership in the years to come."
"IGT leads the global gaming industry by focusing our innovations in content and platform technology that deliver an outstanding player experience," Jay Gendron, IGT Lottery Chief Operating Officer, said in the release. "Through this contract extension with the Kentucky Lottery Corporation, we will be adding IGT's convenient cashless feature to existing self-service vending machines to help the Lottery attract a new demographic of players and maximize sales growth."
IGT Positioned to One Day Handle Kentucky Sports Betting
IGT is a global provider of slot machines, lotteries to digital and social gaming. In addition, IGT PlaySports is a provider in the U.S. market for business-to-business sports betting technology, supporting gambling operators and tribal casinos.
If Kentucky were to ever permit sports betting, IGT is positioned to handle their sportsbook and sports gambling needs. Currently, IGT PlaySports is in nine of the 13 states that offers sports betting, including Indiana, New York, Pennsylvania, Nevada and Rhode Island. In general, having a lottery run sports betting as a sole provider has been riddled with problems in states such as Oregon that have chosen that path.
The Bluegrass State launching sports betting in the near future seems highly unlikely, though Tuesday’s gubernatorial election seems to have been a positive step forward.
Gov-elect Andy Beshear tells reporters in Louisville that his first state budget, due in January, will focus on education, pensions and infrastructure. ^JC pic.twitter.com/oaMUVa7Ghx— Bluegrass Politics (@BGPolitics) November 6, 2019
Kentucky’s Governor Race and Sports Betting
Democratic candidate Andy Beshear won Kentucky’s gubernatorial race on Tuesday, beating Republican Gov. Matt Bevin by 5,300 votes.
As of Wednesday morning, Bevin refused to concede the election despite losing 49.2 percent to 48.8 percent with 100 percent of the precincts reporting. He has three options to try to overturn his loss: A recanvassing, a recount and an election contest.
Most political pundits feel that the election will not be overturned, which is good news for sports bettors since Bevin is one of the most outspoken politicians against gambling. Bevin claims that gambling leads to excruciating social costs, including gamblers committing suicide nearly every night in Las Vegas hotel rooms, a claim made despite a lack of evidence.
In contrast, Beshear supports legal gambling in the Bluegrass State, including sports betting.
A sports betting ally in the governor’s mansion is certainly a step forward for Kentucky but the legalization of gambling is still an uphill battle. Legal sports betting, or gambling of any sort beyond the lottery, requires a constitutional amendment and Kentucky’s legislature is overpoweringly controlled by Republicans, many of whom oppose gambling.
Though Beshear would have an uphill battle on the issue, sports betting advocates in Kentucky have much more hope than if Bevin had been re-elected. That result would all but guarantee four more years of gambling prohibition.