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

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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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Tom Kenny joined ABC 36 News in June of 2001 as a General Assignment Reporter. A native of Peoria, Illinois, he graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications from Western Illinois University. He currently anchors ABC 36 News at 5pm, 6pm and 11pm. Tom has more than three decades of experience in broadcast journalism. He is the only broadcast journalist in Lexington television history to be honored with a national Edward R. Murrow Award. Tom was recognized for reporting on a story that gave a rare glimpse inside the secretive world of the Federal Witness Protection Program. He has won an Emmy Award for anchoring and another for investigative reporting, exposing the deceit and potential danger of online diploma mills. Tom has ten other Emmy nominations to his credit for investigative and feature reporting. He has won Associated Press Awards for reporting and anchoring. He has won two Addy Awards for excellence in promotional writing. Tom was the first broadcast journalist in Lexington TV history to be awarded the Silver Circle Award by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. It is one of the highest honors given by NATAS. It recognizes television professionals who have performed distinguished service within the television industry for 25-years or more. Tom was honored for more than his longevity, he was recognized for making an enduring contribution to the vitality of the television industry and for setting high standards of achievement. He was also recognized for giving back to the community as a mentor, educator and volunteer. Tom also has network broadcast experience in radio and television having worked as a sports reporter for ESPN, Sportschannel, NBC Sports and the Breeders’ Cup. He was also the studio host and halftime producer for CBS Radio Sports’ College Football Game of the Week and covered the NFL for One-On-One Radio Sports. Prior to joining WTVQ-TV, Tom was Vice-President of the Houston Astros Minor League baseball team in Lexington. He was part of the original management team that brought professional baseball back to the Bluegrass after a nearly 50-year absence. Tom has lived in Lexington since 1984. In that time, he has been heavily involved with dozens of charity and civic groups, with a special emphasis on helping Veterans. He can be reached at tkenny@wtvq.com. You can also follow Tom on Facebook www.facebook.com/TomKennyABC and Twitter @TomKennyNews. Just click on the links at the top of the page.