- A new development in the case of Kentucky legalizing sports betting has just been brought to the attention of lawmakers in the state.
- Previously, it was thought that an amendment to the state’s constitution was needed in order to legalize the wagering on sports but that has now been found to be untrue.
- With this new information, the state could see legal sports betting in 2020.
FRANKFORT, Ky. – Will Kentucky see legalized sports betting in 2020? A meeting on Monday with the Interim Joint Committee on Licensing, Occupations, and Administrative Regulations discussed the legalities of wagering on sporting events according to the state’s constitution.
With the testimony of Daniel Wallach, a lawyer and professor specializing in sports betting law, no amendment to the current constitution is necessary for the Bluegrass State to make sports betting a legal activity.
It’s All In The Details
After extensive research, Wallach found journals dated back from the year 1890 during the Kentucky Constitutional Convention. All three documents went over a proposed ban on gambling as a whole rather than being limited to lotteries and wagers of chance.
Sports betting was found to be a skill like that of wagering on the horses or any other competition. This meant it was not a game of chance which made the proposal of 1890 a failure in its pursuit of banning the betting on sports.
“So the debate over whether sports betting is encompassed within the Constitutional ban on lotteries was settled nearly 130 years ago,” said Wallach. “That argument is over. The framers considered it and rejected it.”
While the ban does specify lotteries, sports betting and everything it entails is very much on the table for legalization.
The Kentucky Court of Appeals agreed that the constitution does not hold any bans on horse racing or other games. The audience of the meeting on Monday held both House and Senate members who were able to take Wallach’s new information into consideration.
Senate member Damon Thayer said with Wallach’s testimony, the state of Kentucky will see that when it comes to the issue of wagering on sports, the topic has been given the proper attention and has the historical research stating there are no laws prohibiting it.
Legal Sports Betting In Kentucky
On Monday, Bill Request 364 was filed by state representative Adam Koenig (R-Erlanger). Under this bill, the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) would have control over sports betting in the state as the sole regulator.
All horse racing tracks and any professional sports facility with 50,000 seats would be allowed to offer legal sports wagering in Kentucky at their businesses.
The legal age within the bill request is set at 18, as is the age in the state to bet on horses.
Internet platforms would see a tax rate of 14.25% on revenue while land-based sportsbooks have a 9.75% tax rate according to the bill. Sportsbooks at race tracks will see another .5% tacked on to their taxes that will go toward thoroughbred and standardbred development funding.
Opposing Kentucky Sports Betting
The Family Foundation of Kentucky is still very much against making gambling on sports legal. They have said that legalization will only hurt residents who endure losses and that a technicality on the way the words are said within the constitution should not factor into the change from illegal to legal.
However, Wallach is clear on what the legalities are.
“The opponents of sports wagering will have to come up with something else because saying that it requires a constitutional amendment is just a red herring,” said Wallach.
With neighboring states already legalizing sports betting and in light of the new information provided by Wallach, Kentucky could see legal sports wagers in 2020.
Next month, the legislative session will begin for a sixty-day period where the topic of the legalization of sports betting will take center stage.
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News tags: Adam Koenig | Bill Request 364 | Damon Thayer | Daniel Wallach | Kentucky Constitutional Convention | Kentucky Court of Appeals | Kentucky Horse Racing Commission | The Family Foundation of Kentucky
Christina has been writing for as long as she can remember and does dedicated research on the newly regulated sports betting market. She comes from a family of sports lovers that engage in friendly bets from time to time. During the winter months, you can find Christina baking cookies and beating the entire staff at Mario Kart…the N64 version of course.