Bill filed would allow sports wagering at horse tracks, off-track facilities

Sports Betting Image via MGN Online
Graphic courtesy: MGN Online

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – Kentucky Senator Julian Carroll, a Democrat from Frankfort, pre-filed legislation establishing the framework to allow sports wagering at any horse racing track or off-track wagering facility.

Bill Request 236 builds on two previously filed bills that were proposed over the last couple of legislative sessions by Senator Carroll, but neither received a hearing.

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He introduced the bills in anticipation of the United States Supreme Court striking down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, commonly known as PASPA.

BR 236 would use the revenue generated from sports wagering to fund education and the Kentucky Retirement Systems.

Following the Supreme Court’s ruling, many states passed sports wagering legislation which spurred a total handle near $10 billion, according to Senator Carroll.

This year alone Illinois, Indiana, and Tennessee passed sports wagering legislation, and West Virginia is already in full operation. In Indiana, the sports wagering commission permitted locations to take bets beginning September 1, 2019.

“Because of the General Assembly’s failure to act on this, despite numerous opportunities, Kentucky continues to lose revenue daily that could be funding our schools and ailing pension systems. And frankly, our residents are now vulnerable to an unregulated sports wagering market,” Senator Carroll said.

The bill requires a majority of the revenue generated from sports wagering to be deposited into the Kentucky Employees Retirement Systems Non-Hazardous and Kentucky Teachers’ Retirement Systems proportionally. The Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarship will also benefit, with the remaining going towards horse racing development funds.

BR 236 will be considered during the regular legislative session beginning January 2020.

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