Kentucky Sports Betting Bill is Dead
At one point it appeared as if legal sports betting was coming to the state of Kentucky, but that will no longer be the case. There was actually some optimism about the prospect of sports betting in Kentucky, but that momentum quickly ended.
The 2022 legislative session has ended in Kentucky, and the bill did not even come up for an official vote in the Senate. Despite failing to come up for a final vote, this was actually the best run for a sports betting bill in Kentucky ever.
House Bill 606 passed through the House of Representatives with a vote of 58-30 earlier in the session, but then became stuck in the Senate. Representative Adam Koenig was once again behind the sports betting bill, and this was actually his fourth attempt in Kentucky.
Kentucky is not a state with any professional sports teams, but sports still have a big impact in the culture. Churchill Downs Inc., is a massive name in the state of Kentucky and it has supported sports betting as well.
The Midwest portion of the United States is now full of states with legal sports betting, and Kentucky is falling well behind some of its neighbors. If the state of Missouri is able to approve sports betting this year then Kentucky would be completely surrounded with states that have this industry available.
The recent bill that was introduced would have brought both mobile and retail sports betting to the state, and there would have been plenty of available options.
Next Chance in 2024
Not only is sports betting dead in 2022, but it also looks as if this won’t become a legal option in 2023 either. There are some interesting laws in place in Kentucky and getting a bill approved in 2023 is more difficult than it was for this year.
The 2023 legislative session is much shorter than it is in even-numbered years, and the requirements to approve a bill changes. Sports betting would need to be approved with a three-fifths vote in 2023 and that doesn’t seem likely.
An extra will give lawmakers an extra year to study the benefits of legal sports betting, and more pressure will be put on Kentucky from surrounding states.
Governor, Lawmakers Upset With Failure
Governor Andy Beshear continues to be a proponent of legal sports betting, but things are out of his control at this point. Beshear has been outspoken to lawmakers about getting a bill on his desk, but that hasn’t happened up to this point.
Damon Thayer, Senate Majority Leader, is also a fan of legal sports betting, but he was unable to convince his fellow Senators to get a bill passed. There are 30 Republicans and just 8 Democrats in the Kentucky Senate and this has turned into a political debate.
According to a recent poll, 65 percent of Kentucky residents are in support of legal sports betting.