Sports gambling bill still alive in Ky. General Assembly
LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Lawmakers return to Frankfort Wednesday to focus on overriding several high-profile bills vetoed by Governor Andy Beshear.
It will also be lawmakers’ last chance to pass legislation, including the sports betting bill. Supporters are using new data to back up their case, showing more than half a million sports bets by Kentuckians were blocked just last month.
It’s an attraction that supporters say would appeal to companies in Kentucky.
“It is a way to provide options for skilled workforce, trying to attract businesses. And trying to attract talent,” said John Cox with the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce.
It’s down to the wire if sports betting legislation will pass through the Kentucky Senate this week. Supporters, like the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, are hoping their message of how the commonwealth will benefit, is enough to call it for a final vote.
“Everybody else has it. We don’t see major problems coming from it. And those are just dollars going to other states,” Governor Beshear said.
Senate President Robert Stivers argues there isn’t a fiscal issue sports betting would solve, and Kentucky has bigger draws with horse betting, and the bourbon tourism.
“It’s not the main course when you start thinking about horse racing, and those things. It’s not going to generate a lot of money. I just think it creates a lot of division in my caucus. Because of that, I don’t really want to deal with the issue,” Stivers said.
A poll released by the chamber shows the wide range of support for the legislation. A new report released by GeoComply details an apparent interest. Last month, there were more than 530,000 attempts to place a bet in Kentucky were blocked. Data also identified 41,000 unique sportsbook accounts in Kentucky. But not everyone is on board. Kentucky Baptist Convention shared a tweet Monday calling for people to call Senators to oppose House Bill 606.
“You see so many different Kentuckians from all over different areas going to different states, just crossing the border, placing a bet, and going back,” Cox said.
Driving money that supporters say could stay right here in the commonwealth.
Bill sponsor Representative Adam Koenig said he has been talking to Senators. Some say yes to the bill, some say no, and others who are “keeping their cards close to the vest.”
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