HENDERSON, Ky. (WEHT) – Horse racing fans have experienced exciting races at Ellis Park, but now bettors are experiencing something never before seen in the track’s 100 year history, or in the country. A new “Penny Breakage Law” for Kentucky makes Ellis Park the first race track in the nation to offer a wager payout down to the penny.
“The more money you get back in your pocket, hopefully the more money people will wager. And I think that makes a lot of sense,” explains Kentucky District 69 Representative Adam Koenig. This penny breakage legislation was introduced by Representative Koenig, who says this law will benefit the spectators placing their bets.
“We’ve taken care of the horsemen, we’ve taken care of the owners, we’ve taken care of the tracks. We hadn’t taken care of the bettors. So this was a step forward for the bettors,” says Representative Koenig.
Koenig was in attendance for races on the first day under the new law. Ellis Park General Manager Jeff Inman is excited his facility is the first in the nation to offer a penny for penny payout, and hopes this legislation will improve the health of horse race betting moving forward.
“Under normal circumstances, what has happened in the past, if the odds were, say, 17 to 1, we would drop that 17 down to 10 and call it breakage to the dime,” explains Inman. “At this point in time, we are breakage to the penny, so we’re going to give out all $4.17.”
Under the rounding down system, an example bet would be a return of $2.80 on a $2.00 wager. With the penny breakage system, the same bet under the same odds would increase to a payout of $2.96.
“Now you will get paid to the penny for every dollar you wager,” says Representative Koenig. “So, it may be 2 cents, it may be 16 cents, but over time that adds up.”
Both Representative Koenig and Inman say this new law now gives Kentucky bettors an advantage compared to placing bets in other states.
“For people, they get a better deal in Kentucky,” says Inman. “That’s incredibly important for a lot of people making wagers online, it pushes them to bet in Kentucky just for that better deal.”
Representative Koenig says he expects some kinks to be worked out with the new legislation, but says overall it was a successful first day under this law. Bettors we spoke with say they welcome the new law, and say anything that gives them more money will keep them coming back to Ellis Park.