Kentucky Lawmaker Considering Sports Betting Bill

by Kyle Miller

A lawmaker of Kentucky is considering legislation to see the state allow sports betting.

The state of Kentucky is known for offering horse racing and of course is the home to the much-anticipated Kentucky Derby. One lawmaker would like to see the state expand from not only offering horse racing wagering but also sports betting. Several states are currently considering the legalization of sports betting within their legislatures.

Senator Files Sports Betting Bill This Week

Senator Julian CarrollJust yesterday, Senator Julian Carroll filed a sports betting bill in the state of Kentucky. With the bill, the state would be ready to offer sports betting if the federal government makes the appropriate changes. Currently in the United States, there is a ban on single-game wagering. Only Nevada is allowed to offer such wagering based on the language of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act.

The language of the bill states that the legislation would only take effect if the PASPA were to be repealed by Congress or if the United States Supreme Court were to render the act void. Congress is not set to act on the PASPA any time soon but the US Supreme Court is supposed to rule on a sports betting case for the state of New Jersey by next year. The possibility does exist that states could legalize sports betting if the PASPA is ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.

What Does the Sports Betting Bill Entail?

While we know the new sports betting bill of Kentucky would allow for sports wagering to take place, there is more to the measure. The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission would be involved and would be the one to institute a wagering system for the new industry. The commission would be the main regulator over sports wagering and would be making the rules that operators would have to abide by to offer services.

Licensing fees are included in the new bill and are set at $250,000 for sports betting operators. Participants are not allowed to wager on a sporting event. A tax rate of 20% would be set on the total amount wagered. Penalties would be created that individuals would face if tampering is done on any sporting event outcome.

Kentucky already enjoys a lucrative horse betting industry and sports betting would most likely only increase their earnings potential. Sports bettors would be drawn to the horse racing venues and vice versa, as horse betting enthusiasts would be interested in taking part in sports betting. Race tracks would love having the ability to offer sports betting and look at the activity as a way to drive interest to their venue, bringing in more visitors which creates more revenues.

Other States Show Interest

It seems the interest in sports betting has always been in the background for individual states in the US. Since New Jersey began their fight to offer sports betting, others have begun to jump on the bandwagon. Several states signed on in support of New Jersey while others have shown interest in creating their own legislation. Mississippi and Connecticut are two states that are set to act if sports betting were to become a legal activity in the United States.

It seems all bets are hinged on the outcome of the New Jersey sports betting case. We will have to wait just a bit longer, into next year, before we see if the United States Supreme Court rules in favor of New Jersey. If so, a whole new industry would be ready to sprout up across the United States.