State Lawmakers Look To Legalize Kentucky Sports Betting In 2023

Written By Giovanni Shorter on January 6, 2023
Kentucky Sports Betting

Kentucky lawmakers are entering the 2023 legislative session and sports betting is on the agenda. Lawmakers failed to pass legislation in 2022 due to several reasons, including the inclusion of gray machines across the state. This session sees legislators aiming to come to a consensus and finally pass sports betting in Kentucky.

What Is HB 106?

During the opening day of the legislative session, HB 106 was presented. This bill would allow for online sports betting, poker, and fantasy gaming in the Bluegrass State. The measure is sponsored by House Reps. Cherlynn Stevenson, Derrick Graham, and Rachel Roberts. Even Governor Andy Beshear is in support of bringing sports betting to Kentucky.

The legislation would allow local racetracks to partner with mobile sportsbook operators and allow for wagering statewide. Racetracks would only be allowed one online operator skin per location. This operating partner would be able to run both the online skin and retail sportsbook at the racetrack.

Retail sportsbooks would also be allowed if there is another location that is within 60 miles of the racetrack but not physically attached. All major professional and collegiate sports would be allowed to be wagered on with this bill, allowing for no restrictions on college betting.

There would be a 9.75% tax on gross gaming revenue (GGR) at retail locations and another 14.25% monthly tax on mobile bets. There would be a $500,000 application fee for operators looking for betting licenses. An additional $50,000 annual fee would be required if granted.

Will Kentucky Legalize Sports Betting?

Despite both the Kentucky Senate and House of Representatives being Republican majorities, lawmakers have been historically split on sports betting. The issue of gray machines across the state has been a major point of contention for some.

The inclusion of online poker and fantasy sports in the same bill could lead to similar issues that have plagued Kentucky in the past. Should legislators be for sports betting but against online poker, the bill may be shot down.

It is likely that if this legislation is to pass, several alterations will take place beforehand. Residents will have to hold their breath during the legislative session.

The state Senate Majority Floor Leader, Damon Thayer (R-Georgetown), did tweet out support for sports betting.

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Giovanni Shorter

Giovanni Shorter is a sports enthusiast and writer with a passion for the legal and industry side of the sports betting market. Giovanni got his education from Florida State University where he honed his writing style writing narratives and short stories. He has spent his professional career covering sports and entertainment through articles and blogs and continues to look at the industry from multiple angles.

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