Kentucky Legislature

  • Kentucky’s Senate Committee did not vote on the sports betting bill in time for the session deadline.
  • The deadline passing kills sports betting in Kentucky for at least another year.

FRANKFORT, Ky. – The regulated Kentucky sports betting market has seen a major setback as the legislative session ended without a vote on the sports betting bill.

Due to this, the bill ultimately died on the Senate floor, setting back sports betting in Kentucky at least another year.

Back To The Drawing Board

HB 606 had a lot of optimism. It passed to a 58-30 vote in the House and saw support from many major public figures. Of which, Senate Majority Floor Leader Damon Thayer was a main sponsor.

As the deadline grew closer, however, the pessimism about the bill passing began to brew. There was a growing sense that many opponents to the bill would stop it dead in its tracks.

“A lot of my caucus members, especially from the rural areas, aren’t for it,” said Thayer ahead of the deadline. Even assuming that most of the Democrats will vote for sports betting, when I walked out of here last week, we still did not have enough votes to pass it.”

Following the session hearing, Thayer expressed his disappointment. He revealed the reason for the no vote was due to the lack of votes in favor from the Senate.

“I’m personally disappointed that we were unable to pass sports betting. … We just don’t have the votes,” said Thayer. “I think that will change by next year. I will continue to advocate for us adding this to our betting menu. … I think we should allow the people of Kentucky to make a choice of their own free will, like all of our surrounding states do, to be able to make a legal wager on sports.”

What’s Next?

There will be no movement for sports betting in Kentucky for the rest of 2022. The next time they can revisit the legal sports betting issue would be when the session reconvenes next year.

HB 606 is out, so a new bill would have to be written and voted on in the House and Senate to pass. While this setback can be viewed as a loss, those in favor now have another year to convince opponents of why regulated betting would be beneficial in Kentucky.

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