Wagers placed in Kentucky at Keeneland
Penny breakage in Kentucky will begin July 15, according to a release from the Thoroughbred Idea Foundation, citing confirmation from the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission.
BloodHorse did not immediately receive an email reply from Jamie Eads, interim executive director of the KHRC, for verification and comment.
Breakage refers to the rounding of payoffs, which in Kentucky have been rounded down to the nearest 10 cents on a $1 bet, a practice in place in most other racing jurisdictions.
Kentucky legislators approved penny breakage this spring along with other pari-mutuel rules and tax changes. TIF advocated for breakage reform since its founding in 2018.
Penny breakage returns more money to bettors. As a TIF-provided example under dime breakage, a show bet valued at $1.4854928 was rounded down to $1.40 on a $1 bet, translating to a $2.80 return for a $2 wager on the toteboard. Beginning Friday, that same wager will return $1.48 for every $1, or $2.96 for a $2 wager.
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"This is a welcome and long-overdue shift in pari-mutuel wagering to pay bettors the entirety of their duly deserved winnings," Pat Cummings, TIF executive director, said in a statement.
According to TIF, an estimated $35 million was collected and retained as breakage from Kentucky races over the last five full fiscal years. Kentucky tracks and horsemen split on-track breakage in the past, while off-track bets and ADW bets saw breakage retained by the respective bet-taker.