Kentucky Passes New Legislation to Legalize Sports Betting

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After last year’s bill was stalled and sent back to the committee, Rep. Adam Koenig has once again filed a new bill to legalise sports betting in the state of Kentucky.

The new legislation, House Bill 241, is sponsored by 17 Representatives, led by Koenig. It similar to the one that Koenig sponsored during the 2020 legislative session, in that it core is to legalize sports betting in Kentucky. However, the new bill also lays out proposals to regulate online poker and fantasy sports.

Kentucky Horse Racing Commission as Regulator

The sports betting aspect of the bill would permit online, mobile, and on site wagering. The state’s racetracks and professional venues which have a capacity of 50,000 or more people would be eligible to receive licenses that would allow them to host sports betting at their sites. Initial licenses would cost $500,000 with an annual renewal fee of $50,000.

If passed into a law, the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission will be named as an independent body to regulate the conduct sports racing as well as horse racing and pari-mutuel betting in the state. Meanwhile, the state’s Public Protection Cabinet would oversee daily fantasy sports while the Kentucky Lottery Corporation will administer online poker activities.

Surrounded by Sports Betting States

Last year’s sports betting legislation, House Bill 137, unanimously advanced through the Kentucky House Licensing, Occupations, and Administrative Regulations (LOAR) Committee which is chaired by Koenig. However, it did not receive a single floor vote in the state House of Representatives.

Kentucky’s legislature has long been reluctant to expand gambling in the state but it is surrounded by neighboring states that offer sports betting. Five of Kentucky’s border states-Illinois, Indiana, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia all offer sports wagering. The other two-Missouri and Ohio, want to legalize. With its neighbors enjoying tax dollars, Kentucky may be about to reconsider its position.

JCM Global and Churchill Downs Expand Partnership at Newport Racing

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Churchill Downs Incorporated further strengthened its partnership with JCM Global by giving its newest parimutuel gaming entertainment venue, the Newport Racing & Gaming, the same systems that were installed by the latter at Oak Grove Racing earlier this month.

Said CDI Sr. Director Slot Strategy and Performance Duncan McConnell:

“Guests at Newport Racing & Gaming can now experience the same wagering transactions they have come to expect at Oak Grove Racing, Gaming & Hotel through this expanded partnership with JCM.”

Same As Oak Grove

Just last week, Churchill Downs Incorporated selected JCM as the exclusive gaming transactions solutions provider for its newly opened Oak Grove Racing, Gaming, & Hotel in Oak Grove, Kentucky.

Under that agreement, each of the 1,325 Historical Racing Machines at Oak Grove Racing was equipped with JCM’s award-winning iVIZION bill validator, GEN5 thermal printer, and Intelligent Cash Box (ICB) system. These systems from JCB Global have proven to save casino operators hundreds of thousands of dollars annually. Now, all these have been installed at Newport Racing as well.

Security, Accountability, & Efficiency

The iVIZION is a powerful system that reads more than 9.5 data points on each note. Its combination of optical sensors and mechanical security give gaming operators protection against cheats and counterfeiters. On the other hand, GEN5 has a very fast CPU and print speed. It also has the capability to print TITO, promotional tickets, wager tickets, and coupon promo templates.

The ICB is a management system that increases efficiency and eliminates human error on the part of the operator. For gaming customers, it gives them the ability to access important information securely, anytime and anywhere. The combination of the above mentioned solutions systems gives CDI’s gaming venues added value in security, accountability, and efficiency while also providing its customers unmatched gaming experience.

About JCM and Newport Racing

JCM Global is the leader in the creation of innovative automated transactions solutions for various industries like banking, financial, gaming, kiosk, retail, transportation, vending, other specialty industries, and other businesses that require speed, security, and accuracy in their day to day operations.

Newport Racing & Gaming is a $34.8M facility at the Newport Shopping Center in Northern Kentucky. It was developed by Churchill Downs Inc to create a Las Vegas-like atmosphere in the area. The 17,000 foot gaming area used to be a Chinese restaurant which CDI renovated last May.

Gambling Options in Kentucky May Finally Expand

Kentucky is known for having some extremely strict laws towards the gambling industry. Aside from horse race betting, there aren’t many legal options for residents here to make bets. Interestingly, one powerful state officials has begun calling for gambling options in Kentucky to expand. Kentucky AG Andy Beshear

It’s great news for fans of gambling here. Today, we’re going to look at Kentucky’s current set of gambling laws, and how these laws may change in the future. Let’s get started!

Kentucky’s Current Laws on Gambling

As we’ve already mentioned, Kentucky is known for having a strict set of laws on the gambling industry. Sports betting is currently banned here. It’s a shame, as this state is known for having one of the most passionate sporting fan bases in the country.

Kentucky is home to what’s described as “the most exciting two minutes in sports,” the Kentucky Derby. Horse racing has taken place here for decades and is one of the only legal forms of wagering in the state. There are several racing tracks in this state, all of which offer betting odds.

Casino gambling is prohibited in Kentucky. There are no land-based gambling venues here. Today, most people looking to try their luck in a casino head to nearby Missouri, Illinois, and Ohio, where casinos are perfectly legal.

Kentucky operates a state lottery. There are several bingo halls spread around the state that are legal and regulated, as well.

Online gambling is looked down upon by the state government, yet there are no laws that claim it’s illegal. Today, there are a huge number of great US casino websites available in Kentucky, many of which offer as many gambling options as the top land-based casinos in Las Vegas.

Now, a powerful state officials is calling for gambling laws here to change.

Governor Candidate Want Gambling Options in Kentucky to Expand

For months, several gambling advocates have pushed for Kentucky lawmakers to open the state’s casino and sports betting industry. Many believe that expanding the gambling options in Kentucky will help to bring the state millions in additional revenue every year. Sports betting legalization, in particular, is being looked at extremely closely right now.

With PASPA now gone, every state can set laws on the sports betting industry. 13 states have already launched sports betting platforms and six more are set to open sportsbooks in the next few months. Back in 2017, Senator Julian Carroll presented a 27-page bill to legalize sports betting in this state. It’s failed to make any progress since that time.

This week, Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear announced that he supports gambling expansion plans. Beshear is currently running for Governor of Kentucky. If elected, he claims, commercial casinos and sports betting will be made legal.

“Kentucky can’t afford to fall behind our neighboring states who are moving forward with the rest of the country on expanded gaming. We lose out on hundreds of millions of dollars a year,” he said. “As governor, I will work to legalize sports betting, casinos, fantasy sports and prepare for online poker, and use the revenue from these activities as a dedicated funding stream for our public pension system.”

Other Kentucky Officials Continue to Push Against Gambling Industry

It’s extremely exciting to see Beshear supporting the gambling industry. He realizes that more states are choosing to embrace gambling, rather than push against it. Unfortunately, not all state officials are onboard with gambling expansion plans.

Current Governor Matt Bevin has repeatedly stated that he’s against gambling. He believes gambling has a negative impact on families and communities. He’s brushing aside the massive potential for revenue gains.

Speaking of revenue, Andy Beshear believes that $1.7 billion in economic activity will be generated with gambling expansion. He also states that adding casinos and sports betting options will help get Kentucky out of its $33 million debt from their pension system.

The Kentucky gubernatorial election will take place on November 5th. At the moment, there are no betting odds available on the election. Those wishing to place other political wagers can head to Bovada, where odds on the upcoming presidential election are currently available.

If Beshear is elected, it’s extremely likely that gambling options in Kentucky will expand. Make sure to stay tuned for more updates to this state’s gambling laws over the next few months!