Kentucky Legislature

  • A new bill is making its way through the House, and could regulate online betting
  • Opponents of the bill are concerned that the gambling industry is exploitive.

Update

House Bill 606 has been passed by the State House by a vote of 58/30 and will now move forward to the Kentucky Senate for consideration.

They will have a few legislative days to deliberate the bill and get it in front of Governor Andy Beshear before April 14th when the session ends.

FRANKFORT – While Kentucky doesn’t currently offer any kind of mobile sports betting options, a new bill could soon change that.

New Bill HB 606

House Bill 606 stands to not only open the doors to mobile sports betting for Kentucky residents, but also regulate online poker and fantasy sports.

“I think we’re in a position to hopefully have better luck going forward out of this committee,” said Adam Koenig, House Representative . “What this essentially does…is allow for wagering on sports as happens in 33 other states and the District of Columbia today.”

The bill made its way through the Kentucky House committee on Wednesday, where it hit the House floor and will soon be voted on.

If HB 606 passes, the expansions to Kentucky’s legal sports betting market stands to benefit the state’s residents via taxes on the industry that are set to be earmarked towards the state pension fund. According to Koenig, the bill would raise the state revenue by $27 million in only a few years.

Opposition To The Bill & Rebuttal

While HB 606 is seeing strong support from many Kentucky lawmakers and residents alike, there are some that are more weary of the law and potential problems that could follow it,

“This type of predatory gambling is designed to prey on human weakness with the government colluding with the gambling industry to exploit our fellow Kentuckians,” said David Walls, Executive Director of The Family Foundation.

Koenig isn’t convinced however, stating that the other states have launched massive regulated gambling markets already to great benefit, and that for Kentucky to do so would fight the black market.

“According to the American Gaming Association, there is $2 billion wagered illegally in Kentucky every year and I think it’s important to bring those people out of the shadows and dry up the black market,” said Koenig.

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