Kentucky sports betting bill passes House vote
House Bill 551 now heads to the Senate.
US.- A Kentucky sports betting bill has been approved by the Kentucky House through a 63-34 vote. House Bill 551, which was introduced by Rep. Michael Meredith in February, will now move to the Senate. It’s first stop will be the Senate Licensing and Occupations Committee.
The bill would allow retail and online betting on professional and college sports, international sports, e-sports, and video game events. The minimum age would be 18 and the market would be regulated by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission. The proposal would set initial licence fees at $500,000 for tracks and $50,000 for gaming providers.
HB 551 would create sports betting licences for the nine horse racing tracks in Kentucky. The tracks would be able to open in-person sportsbooks and partner with up to three online sports betting operators. The bill would tax in-person sports betting revenue at 9.75 per cent and online revenue at 14.25 per cent.
Several responsible gambling measures have been added, including sending 2.25 per cent of tax revenue to support problem gambling programs.
“This does create a regulated marketplace for sports wagering, taking sports wagering in Kentucky out of the shadows, out of the darkness and moving it into the light,” said Meredith.
The legislation needs a three-fifths vote in each chamber to pass, since it’s a revenue-producing bill in an odd-numbered year. Legislation has failed in the four previous years
Last year, the Kentucky state senate’s legislative session ended with no vote on sports betting legislation. House Bill 606, sponsored by Rep. Adam Koenig, was approved in the 100-member House in a 58-30 vote in March, but the bill faced resistance in the Senate.