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Kentucky Likely To See Sports Betting Legislation In 2019

Ryan Knuppel

Kentucky State Senate’s majority leader has stated that he firmly believes that the legislators in this US state would pass the sports betting law in 2019. He thinks that it will be in the early 2019 and that it will allow for some land-based casinos to offer this type of activity to their visitors. The Blood-Horse racing magazine published a report on Saturday stated that it was Damon Thayer who first made this prediction during the Sports Wagering and Impact on Horse Racing Symposium that was taking place in Keeneland Sales Pavilion in Lexington.

Kentucky Looking to Get Going

Thayer stated that there is a group of lawmakers in Kentucky who are currently very eager about the whole thing and want to file the bill in as soon as January 2019. This would likely bring sports betting to Kentucky, and the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission will handle the oversight duties. According to Thayer, the tax for sports betting will be a bit lower than the tax for the slots. This is probably due to the fact that many people will not actively participate in this activity until it gets popular. All the money from the tax will be set aside for the public education and pension programs.

Furthers more, Thayer added that he would not support the legislation at all costs. He wants the part of the tax to go to the horseracing fund and the breeding institutes. All of that can be done via the Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund. He added that there had to be a component which would support the industry of horse racing.

According to the state senator, the legislation will not deal with either mobile or online services for sports betting as that is not the primary point of interest for them at the moment. The legislation will only include the land-based venues such as tracks for horse racing. He stated that passing the legislation was very important since some of the neighboring countries were already doing that – mainly West Virginia.

Thayer added that he believed they could put together a group of Republicans and Democrats who would pass the bill. Furthermore, he expressed his concern and stated that he did not want Kentucky to be one of the states that would pass the bill the latest when it comes to sports wagering. He wants Kentucky to be one of the first ten states that will deal with this type of gambling and allow it to support the horse industry.

Future in Kentucky

In the end, Thayer is not sure whether the governor of Kentucky, Matt Bevin, will allow the whole sports betting thing although he stated that he is willing to consider it and maybe even legalize it. Thayer doesn’t believe that the governor is actively advocating for passing down the sports betting legislation, but he will not object it.

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