Advocates say Kentucky is missing out on sports betting

Advocates say Kentucky is missing out on sports betting
Published: Feb. 2, 2023 at 4:27 PM EST
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Lawmakers return to Frankfort next week to resume the 2023 legislative session.

Sports betting is once again up for debate.

Several of Kentucky’s surrounding states allow the practice, but it remains illegal in the Commonwealth.

Since 2018, bills have been introduced to legalize sports betting in Kentucky. Nearly five years later, it still hasn’t been legalized.

“I hear people all the time telling me about driving over the border to Tenn, Indiana and now Ohio to make legal sports bets because they can’t make them here in Kentucky,” said Senate Majority Floor Leader Damon Thayer.

Six of the seven surrounding states legalized sports betting, and Sen. Thayer says Kentucky thrives off horseracing, but we are just a little behind.

In Kentucky, there’s legal wagering on horse racing, so you can bet on your favorite horse at Keeneland, but when it comes to mobile wagering, you won’t be able to bet on sports like the Superbowl or NCAA tournament.

“We have a very long history and tradition of betting on horses here,” said Sen. Thayer. “I think this is just a natural extension of that.”

“Right now, in each state’s revenues would be generated from the taxes on sports betting will go to the permanent pension fund for future general assemblies to allocate to various employee pension systems like teachers employee retirement system, state employee retirement system,” said Sen. Thayer.

While Sen. Thayer is unsure about the odds of House bill 106′s success, he says he thinks they have a better chance than last year.

Senator Sen. Thayer says that the locations in the sports betting bill would be limited to horse racing tracks. So you would go to the track and sign up for an account, allowing you to do mobile wagers from anywhere.