Kentucky House passes bill to legalise sports betting
A bill legalising both in-person and online sportsbooks in Kentucky now heads to the Senate for consideration.
US.- The Kentucky House has narrowly approved a bill that would legalise in-person and mobile sports betting in the state. House Bill 606, sponsored by Rep. Adam Koenig, was approved in the 100-member House on Friday by a 58-30 vote. The bill now heads to the Senate for consideration.
All Democrats and a slim majority of Republicans supported the measure. Twelve House members did not vote.
HB 606 would allow Kentucky’s licensed horse tracks, including Churchill Downs and Keeneland, to partner with a mobile sports betting operator such as DraftKings, FanDuel, or Caesars.
Licensees would also be allowed to offer in-person sports betting at horse tracks and two other track-owned facilities – such as a gaming hall or simulcast facility — through sportsbooks licensed by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC).
Koenig believes sports betting could generate $22m in tax revenue each year for Kentucky. Koenig cited estimates that more than $2bn is wagered illegally on sports each year in the state. Legislation would bring “activities that go on in every corner of this state out of the darkness and into the light,” he said.
If the bill is approved, bettors would be able to wager on professional, college, and amateur sports, with no prohibition on betting on in-state teams. Operators would pay a $500,000 initial application and licensing fee, followed by a $50,000 per year renewal fee.
The sports wagering measure is part of a broad package of gambling-related bills being considered by Kentucky lawmakers.
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