Kentucky lawmakers are looking to legalize the best USA online sportsbooks by the end of the legislative session. The state has a package and they’re ready to deliver!
On Monday, a series of five gambling-related bills were proposed in the House. The bills were filed by Republican State Representative Adam Koenig. The bipartisan efforts aim to authorize domestic sportsbook operations.
However, the House’s perspective sports betting laws also tackle the issue of illegal gambling kiosks that have popped up around the state in recent years. Representative Koenig’s legislation is as follows:
- HB606: The bill proposes the legalization of both in-person and mobile sports betting. It also includes provisions for the legalization of online poker.
- HB607: The bill restructures the pari-mutuel gaming framework. It aims to tax pari-mutuel wagering facilities at least 1.5% of all gross earnings from betting. Given the historic success of horse racing in the state, this measure will be crucial.
- HB608: The bill is directed at local, underground gambling schemes and authorizes the removal of “gray machine” gambling devices.
- HB609: The bill designates funds and guidelines for addressing the issue of problem gambling as the state moves forward with the expansions detailed above.
- HB610: The bill combines all of the measures above into one coherent document for the House’s approval.
Koenig’s package is ambitious. If the bills were to pass, authorization would go into effect beginning in August of this year. Even so, Kentucky’s legal online sports betting launch could take a bit longer.
But the time is right for Kentucky to pass domestic betting measures. With an in-state approval rating of 65%, residents have indicated that they are ready for the change. There’s no reason to stand in the way of choices made by sensible adults.
And that’s exactly the argument Representative Koenig posed to fellow lawmakers on Monday:
“We can either bury our heads in the sand and tell people that they’re not grown adults and they can’t make these decisions, or like I said, we give them the opportunity to do so. We tax it, we regulate it, we make sure it’s done above board, and we give people protections from their government that they deserve,”
For the most part, reception to the measures has been favorable. Most of the state’s opposition comes from religious, anti-gambling groups. The loudest of these dissenting voices has been The Family Foundation of Kentucky.
The group has long-held power over public policy decisions in Kentucky, operating since 1990. Its goal is the preservation of Judeo-Christian values for families in the state.
However, The Family Foundation may not receive the outcome that they had hoped. State representatives made sure to cover every base in writing this series of bills. Additionally, the early pitch gives House and Senate members plenty of time to mull over the fine print.
The future of Kentucky sports betting looks bright, so stick around to stay in the loop!
Source: Fox 19