Legal sports betting was resurrected in Kentucky’s statehouse after a legislator filed a bill on the final day for House bills to be introduced during the 2023 legislative session.
Rep. Michael Meredith (R-Oakland) filed the bill, which he said is different from last year’s legislation.
The new bill removes online poker and fantasy sports; instead, it focuses solely on sports wagering.
Last year, House Bill 606 died in the Kentucky Senate despite last-minute maneuvering from former Rep. Adam Koenig (R-Erlanger), the bill’s sponsor. Koenig proposed numerous bills aiming to legalize sports betting in the state during his time in office. After Koenig lost his primary election last May, many wondered who would carry the torch of sports betting in the Kentucky legislature.
In House Bill 551, it clarifies the Horse Racing Commission’s Regulatory Authority and Structure, allowing the tracks to be the main licensees while also allowing them to contract with three sports wagering companies instead of just one, like in previous bills.
Tax rates will also be the same at 9.75% on in-person bets and 14.25% on mobile and online bets, which were included in last year’s House Bill 606.
The way the new bill is written, for the first 12 months, users will need to register their account at a track before they will be able to wage their bets remotely.
While Koenig’s bill died in the Senate last year, the makeup of the Senate has changed, and Meredith believes they might have some additional support, though he wouldn’t comment on potential votes.