Gambling bills make it out of committee

Forward Kentucky
Forward Kentucky

In a process that took only 16 days, four bills dealing with legalized gambling went from filed to passed by a committee in the Kentucky House.

The bill package was sponsored by Rep. Adam Koenig, and includes these bills:

  • HB 606 – Legalizes sports wagering, sets up the taxation for all the bills. If passed, it puts Kentucky on the same footing for online sports betting as our neighboring states.
  • HB 607 – As noted in the press release about the bills, HB 607 proposes a 1.5% tax on all pari-mutuel wagers, including Historical Horse Racing (HHR), simulcast, and Advance-Deposit Wagering (ADW). It should be noted that the KY Center on Economic Policy panned this bill, saying it does not raise the tax on HHR nearly enough.
  • HB 608 – Addresses so-called “gray machines,” which are basically electronic slot machines found in convenience stores and bars across the state. This bill regulates them and taxes them like other forms of gambling, which means the tax money generated by these machines goes to KEES scholarships.
  • HB 609 – Sets up a funding mechanism for a trust that would help persons dealing with a gambling addiction.

The House Licensing, Occupations, and Administrative Regulations Committee approved the bills unanimously.

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