House panel passes bill to legalize, regulate sports betting in Kentucky

House panel passes bill to legalize, regulate sports betting in Kentucky
Published: Mar. 8, 2023 at 10:43 AM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - A legislative panel unanimously passed a bill to legalize and regulate sports betting in Kentucky.

This issue passed the House last year but stalled in the Senate. However, House Bill 551 does seem to have tremendous, bipartisan support and momentum in the House.

The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission would regulate the sports wagering industry and each company or app would have to pay a half-million-dollar fee to operate in Kentucky.

“The bill before you today will put this industry in a legal and regulated status,” said Rep. Michael Meredith, R-Oakland. “So, everyone knows what the framework is, what the regulation is.”

Most of the states surrounding Kentucky already have sports wagering.

Some of the Kentucky lawmakers on the committee who voted for the bill committee there were against gambling in principle, but want to see it regulated. It would allow betting on college and professional events, both in person at track-owned facilities and on computers, tablets or phones through apps.

There is the concern that children will be able to get their hands on devices and wager bets as well. Some say gambling and the use of a phone are never a good combination.

That’s among the arguments against from conservative group The Family Foundation which says this is the government aligning with predatory companies at the cost of its citizens.

“It is a form of financial fraud that sees the government partner with wealthy gambling interests to the harm of its own citizens. This is a simple truth and a harsh reality,” said David Walls, The Family Foundation.

Time is running short as the legislative session is set to end at the end of this month, but they do expect a full House vote early next week. A lot of question marks on if the bill has enough support in the Senate.

Governor Beshear has already stated he supports the issue so if it passes the Senate, it will likely become law and take effect in July of this year.