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The Kentucky sports betting legislation has started and two sports betting bills are now under consideration.

  • The Kentucky legislature will remain in session through mid-April, giving lawmakers enough time to come to a decision on the sports betting bills currently being presented.
  • Governor Andy Beshear is in favor of gambling in all of its forms (casino-style, sports betting, and poker), including the ability to bet online and phone mobile devices.
  • Both bills currently being presented have opposing views on a handful of topics that legislators will need to come to an agreement on.

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Legislators are getting their first look at two Kentucky sports betting bills filed with the state as their session opened for the new year.

Each of these bills were pre-filed in 2019 but are now officially receiving attention by lawmakers. One bill has been filed with the Senate and the other bill has been filed with the House.

Both feature differing factors for the legalization of sports betting in Kentucky.

Making Sports Betting Legal In KY

The proposal from the Senate, KY SB 24, would like to form a state gaming commission to oversee the rules, regulations, and operations of the legal wagering on sporting events.

Under this bill, both college and professional teams would be eligible for betting. The tax requirement would be set at 25% on all adjusted gross revenue from gambling on sports. The legal age for sports bettors would be 18 and no stipulations about rules for internet or mobile betting are set within the documents.

For the House’s measure, KY HB 137, it would allow for college wagers only when it involves teams not affiliated with the state of Kentucky. The bill proposes that the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission would be in charge of the rules and regulations for legalized sports betting.

Taxes on all revenue from the business would be set at a rate of 9.75% for brick and mortar locations while internet platforms would see a rate of 14.25%.

The bill also calls for in-person sign up for any bettor that would like to access mobile/internet sports betting platforms. But like KY SB 24, the legal age for all gambling activities would be 18 years old.

Under KY HB 137, online poker is also mentioned for legalization. Poker would not be regulated by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, instead opting to be regulated by the Kentucky Lottery Corporation.

Should the legislative session decide they like certain aspects from each bill, they could hold a conference committee meeting to find a balance between the two. However, one thing is certain – lawmakers have plenty to mull over between these bills and the different options they each present.

The Bluegrass State estimates anywhere from $20 million to $48 million in annual revenue could be brought to the state should sports betting be legalized.

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