Kentucky Senate votes to legalise sports betting
The Kentucky Senate has voted to legalize sports betting, approving a House bill that enables Kentucky horse tracks to open retail sports books and partner with online betting sites.
Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear has indicated he would sign the bill if passed.
It’s expected to spark an industry that books more than $2 billion in annual wagers and generates about $23 million in annual tax revenue for Kentucky. It would divert 2.5% of that tax revenue to a new fund to combat problem gaming. The remainder funds gaming regulatory expenses and Kentucky pensions.
The vote means Kentucky will join 36 states and the District of Columbia in legalizing sports betting. It joins four states and D.C. in allowing people to bet on sports at the age of 18, according to the American Gaming Association.
“It’s consistent with all of our other gaming laws in Kentucky,” said the bill’s sponsor Rep. Michael Meredith (R-Oakland). “You can bet at a horse track in Kentucky when you’re 18, you can go to an HHR facility at 18 by statute. Now, several of our HHR facilities have self-regulated to 21 but the statute says 18. And then, you can buy lottery tickets in Kentucky at 18 too. So, it’s consistent with all of our other wagering laws.”