Sports Betting Still Under Consideration In Kentucky Senate

The Kentucky Senate continued meeting into the late afternoon on Wednesday without voting on a bill to legalize sports betting.

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The 2022 legislative session ends Thursday. If the Senate doesn’t vote on the bill by then, or if a majority of the senators vote to kill the bill, sports betting will not be legalized this year in Kentucky.

However, if the Senate approves the sports betting bill by the end Thursday’s legislative business, it will go to Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear for his consideration.

The governor has said he supports sports betting.

HB606 Would Legalize Mobile, On-Site Sports Betting

Early Wednesday, the Senate kept the sports betting bill alive, sending it to a committee for consideration.

During a morning Senate session, the sports betting bill, House Bill 606, was reassigned to the Economic Development, Tourism and Labor Committee.

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The bill had been in the Senate Licensing and Occupations Committee.

“I think this is a good sign,” John Cox, the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce public relations director, said in a tweet.

The Kentucky Chamber supports sports betting in the state.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Adam Koenig, R-Erlanger, would legalize mobile sports betting and on-site sports wagering at horse tracks.

It also would permit online poker and fantasy sports game.

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House Earlier Approved Sports Betting

On March 18, the state House approved HB606 on a 58-30 vote, a margin of almost 2-to-1.

Senate leaders have expressed doubt that the sports betting bill will be approved in that chamber, but agreed to take it under consideration during the final two days of the session this week.

Sport betting legislation faces resistance in rural parts of the state with larger populations of conservative and religious residents, Senate Majority Leader Damon Thayer, R-Georgetown, told

Thayer supports sports betting, but with a 30-8 Republican majority in the Senate, the chance of passage was questionable going into the final two days of the session, lawmakers said.

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Chamber Of Commerce Urges Support

Legislators returned to the statehouse in Frankfort from recess on Wednesday for two days before going home at the end of the workday Thursday.

With the clock ticking, the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce launched a last-second effort to convince state senators to approve sports betting.

The Kentucky Chamber has created an online form for Kentuckians to email to state senators, urging them to approve House Bill 606.

Sports betting is legal in most states that border Kentucky.

“Sports wagering presents Kentucky with a unique opportunity to grow jobs, stay competitive with surrounding states, and generate needed revenue for our pension systems,” the chamber email states.

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