As a new bill gains momentum, Kentucky could soon legalize sports betting. House Bill 511 would allow betting on horse racing in Kentucky, creating a new gambling sector. Racing tracks will be allowed to partner up to three online operators to allow local customers to play online.
The Bill passed the House on Monday and was also approved by a Senate committee. However, there are still many challenges.
Kentucky is closer to sports betting than ever
House Bill 511 is the latest attempt to bring sport flutters to the Bluegrass State. Since 2018, when PASPA was repealed, Kentucky has been trying legalize punts. Previous attempts have failed.
Despite past failures, Kentucky now has a chance to allow sports betting. The Senate Licensing and Occupations Committee has never passed any bill. The committee voted in favor and 9 against HB 511 in a unanimous vote.
Many believe Governor Andy Beshear supports sports betting and would sign it into law. This means that Kentucky is now the 37th state that allows sports betting. Beshear’s four-year-old campaign clearly highlighted his progambling stance.
Rep. Meredith Will Seek Boosters
Although HB 511 is likely to pass, it’s too soon to celebrate as the Senate poses the greatest threat to the measure. To pass, the bill must be approved by the Senate with at least three-fifths support from local laws. Additionally, passing HB511 would be a race against the clock since there are only four days left in this legislative session.
A planned recess in the legislative session could work in favor the bill, as it would allow its supporters enough time to convince other senators that they support the bill. The bill is still not passed by the pro-gambling group, according to Michael Meredith, a state representative.
The legislative session will continue from March 29-30, when the fate for sports betting in Kentucky will be decided.
A Kentucky House committee also cleared HB594 earlier this month. This bans “gray” gaming machines that pay cash.