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Kentucky Sports Bill Runs Out of Time for 2019 General Assembly

March 15, 2019
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Supporters of the Kentucky sports betting bill have run out of time to pass legislation legalizing sports betting in the General Assembly’s (GA) 2019 session. The bill’s primary sponsor Representative Adam Koenig announced on Tuesday night via Twitter that House Bill 175 won’t receive a vote in Kentucky’s state House of Representatives before this year’s GA session which ends on March 28.

Koenig wrote: “Unfortunately, done for this year. Will be back next year to get it done,” about the Kentucky sports betting bill. Koenig and other supporters off the bill won’t have enough time to challenge any vetoes by Governor Matt Bevin who has spoken out against sports betting. The Kentucky sports betting bill, which passed a House committee earlier in the session, would have allowed the state’s horse racing tracks and the Kentucky Speedway to seek licenses for sportsbooks. They would have been able to accept bets on major sports events, barring college games with in-state teams.

Kentucky Sports Bill Would Bring in Millions for the State

Furthermore, the state of Kentucky would’ve charged a $500,000 license fee along with taxing the proceeds. Koenig claimed that annual funding would’ve reached between $20 million and $48 million. This would’ve helped address Kentucky’s financial issues, especially their public pension shortfall.

The Kentucky sports betting bill managed to draw support from across the aisle. Koenig, who is a Republican legislator, received support from 11 Democrat cosponsors. Moreover, business groups across the state along with the state’s Chamber of Commerce and the Kentucky Equine Education Project (KEEP), endorsed the bill.

Some See Sports Betting as Exploitative

Those that aren’t happy about the Kentucky sports betting bill are glad to see it stall in the 2019 GA. Senior policy analyst for the Family Foundation of Kentucky, Martin Cothram, reportedly said that supporters wanted to evade the state’s Constitution. The Foundation said if any initiative to expand gaming wants to be passed, it should be voted on by the residents of Kentucky, like any Constitutional amendment.

“We believe it is not the state’s role to allow and to profit from the exploitation of its own citizens,” Cothram said. “We know a lot of money was spent by the casino industry to get it passed, money some of which was gotten from people who could ill afford to lose it.” For more news on the US casino industry, stay with BestUSACasinoSites.com.