Kentucky Sports Betting Bill Demands More Republican Support

Kentucky Sports Betting Bill Demands More Republican Support

The House of Representatives recently passed a $24 billion budget plan for the state of Kentucky this week. However, they didn’t include the sports betting bill into this plan.

Will Kentucky legalize sports betting?

Republican state Rep. Adam Koenig is hopeful that the sports betting bill wouldn’t be derailed in the legislature. His bill has 41 co-sponsors, including Rep. Rachel Roberts, who recently signed on. However, Koenig believes that the bill will need more support from Republicans in the House to see daylight.

Kentucky Sports Betting Bill Demands More Republican Support

This is because Republicans hold 62 of the 100 seats in the House. Koenig suggests that the bill has enough support to pass through the House. Even democratic Gov. Andy Beshear supports Koenig’s bill and said that he understood why the bill sponsor is looking for more Republican support.

House Bill 137 has had little trouble passing from the House Licensing, Occupations, and Administrative Regulations Committee earlier this year. Members voted unanimously in support of the bill during the 60-day legislative session. However, it has still been waiting for a floor vote in the House. If passed, the state would stand toe-to-toe with its neighbors- West Virginia, Tennessee, Indiana and Illinois, all of which have regulated sports betting markets or have passed sports betting bills.

Currently, the House is on day 44 of its session and will continue meeting till April 10. After that, a 10-day veto period will begin, which will be followed by two days of the General Assembly overturning vetoes or passing another legislation. The session will be adjourned on April 15.

Sports betting revenue crucial for the state

Koenig is highly optimistic about the bill and suggests that the Senate’s bill could be markedly different from the House and may even have a different set of priorities. He said that sports betting could add an extra $45 million to the state coffers. However, we don’t know how long the Senate could take to create its budget plan. It would then take some more time for the conference committee to mend out the difference between the two plans. In 2016, the lawmakers couldn’t agree on a two-year spending plan till the last day of the session.

It is possible that a sports betting bill could be inserted into the mix if such a deadlock arrives but Koenig has downplayed that possibility. Note that in this scenario, sports betting will only be legal for two years and the General Assembly will have to reassess their options after that.

About sherlock

Sherlock Gomes loves to write and express his views on anything related to Gaming, Gambling, & Casino. He has been covering Gaming for more than two years now.