Kentucky Not Authorized to Tax Betting on Historical Horse Racing

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014


The Kentucky Supreme Court recently ruled that the Department of Revenue ("Department") could not apply tax to bets on "historical horse racing."

Members of Kentucky's horse racing industry wanted to provide devices, similar to slot machines, for betting on historical horse races. Historical horse races are races that have already been run at approved racing facilities. The devices present the races on video displays, and people place bets at those devices. These devices identify horses only by number and give no information by which bettors can identify the time or place the real race occurred. The devices do provide some statistical data on the horses.

Kentucky taxes bets on live horse races at certain tracks. The Department had amended its regulations to extend the application of this tax to bets on historical horse racing. The Department argued that historical horse races were "live" because the bettor did not know their outcome at the time he or she placed the bet.

The Court ruled that the Department could not tax bets on historical horse racing. The law that imposed tax on bets specifically applied to bets on live races. The fact that the bettor did not know the outcome of a historical race when he or she placed the bet did not make a historical race "live." The common use of the term "live" did not include recorded events. Because historical races were not live races, the Department could not tax bets on these races.

About TTR

Transaction (buying or selling things), Tax (the tax on this activity), Resources (our people, our website, our support services) - TTR, Inc.

TTR has a website that companies subscribe to and use daily. This website provides a list of everything that can be bought or sold in the U.S. It provides simple answers to whether buying or selling these items is taxable (subject to a sales tax or other tax), and it provides all the legal authority to support these tax answers.

TTR likes to keep things simple and fun, which is why it has great people who provide help to clients on any support questions they have about transaction tax issues.

Please visit TTR on the web at or call 866.578.8193.

Texas Releases Detailed Guidance on Exempt Organizations

Thursday, October 18th, 2018 -The Texas Comptroller has released a publication that provides detailed information on how sales and use tax a...

Telephone Answering Services Taxable in Arkansas

Tuesday, October 16th, 2018 -The Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration recently ruled that the service of answering calls on be...

Washington Provides Guidance on Lodging Tax for Online...

Friday, October 12th, 2018 -The Washington Department of Revenue released updated guidance that provides tax reporting information for bed...

Economic Nexus in West Virginia

Wednesday, October 10th, 2018 -The West Virginia State Tax Department announced that it will require remote sellers to begin collecting sales...

Idaho Provides Guidance on the Exemption for Medical...

Monday, October 8th, 2018 -The Idaho State Tax Commission recently released guidance that explains Idaho's sales and use tax laws for buy...

Arkansas Does Not Follow Federal Law on Foreign Income

Friday, October 5th, 2018 -The Arkansas Department of Taxation and Finance recently released an opinion that says the state does not conf...