• KY HB 175 delayed until 2020
  • Technically not dead, but stands no chance in the current legislative session
  • Kentucky will probably not see sportsbooks open in 2019

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Sports betting in Kentucky has been delayed and the lawmakers are not likely to vote on a bill until 2020.

KY HB 175 was the sports betting bill with the most momentum in Kentucky’s Congress. It gained traction last month when passed in the Licensing and Occupations Committee in the House. Afterward, the bill has completely stalled and it seems like the idea will be shelved until 2020.

Is The Bill Dead?

No bill is truly dead in any state House or Senate until the current legislative session is over. But one of the conditions that were needed to pass KY HB 175 is that it needed a super majority to pass. Head sponsor Adam Koenig said that it was bizarrely optimistic for him to expect that to happen.

“We will regroup and reload with a better plan to win the hearts and minds of the public next year. We will only need a simple majority, and it will be a budget year where that $20-48 million [in tax revenue] will look a lot more important,” said Koenig.

So even though the bill is not technically dead, Koenig admits here that the chances of the bill passing are minimal at best.

New Hope In 2020

As Koenig said, 2020 is when Kentucky will create a new budget for the upcoming years. One of the key points that the representative plans on making for 2020 are that adding sports betting will not increase the financial burden of the state nor will it tax Kentucky’s citizens and put them in a bad position.

The bill will charge sportsbook operators $500,000 every year for a sports betting license. On top of that, sportsbooks will be 10.25 percent on revenue earned for sports betting. The tax rate is higher for the mobile space. The plan is to tax the mobile sports betting space a 14.25 percent tax on revenue earned.

The main appeal for legal sports betting in the upcoming fiscal year is that a large percentage of the taxed income is going to the pension system in Kentucky. The pension system is $40 billion in debt and increasing. Koenig is hoping that the bill will help offset some of that debt and begin closing the gap.

As stated before, Kentucky sports betting is not completely dead in 2019. There could be a surprise and a bill might be passed. But, lawmakers are looking towards the future to bring sportsbooks to the state. After all, in 2020, they will only need 51 out of 100 House members to vote for the bill instead of having a supermajority to bring sports betting to Kentucky.

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