Senator Julian Carroll is sponsoring a new proposal that would legalize and regulate sports betting in the state of Kentucky.
Sports betting legislation has been proposed for the 2019 General Assembly in Kentucky after a bill designated as Senate Bill 29 was introduced by Senator Carroll. The measure would create a framework for sports betting to take place within horse race tracks and off-track wagering facilities within the state’s borders.
The senator has tried to see sports betting approved in the past, having sponsored Senate Bill 22 during the 2018 session. This measure was created in anticipation of a ruling by the United States Supreme Court in the case involving New Jersey and sports betting. While the bill was presented ahead of the ruling, it was never brought up in committee and fizzled out.
The initial goal was to see the bill signed into law before SCOTUS made its ruling. That way, the state would have been set to start offering sports betting as soon as possible.
On the failure of Senate Bill 22, Carroll said: “Because of the General Assembly’s failure to act on this bill, Kentucky is losing revenue daily that could be funding our schools and public employees. And frankly, our residents are now vulnerable to an unregulated sports wagering market.”
With the new bill proposed by Carroll, the hope is that the decision by SCOTUS last month to allow sports betting to legally take place across the nation will push Kentucky lawmakers to support the measure.
The bill states that participants – including athletes, coaches, referees, team owners, and shareholders – will not be allowed to bet on their own contests. If the outcome of a sports betting event is tampered with, it will be considered a felony crime and anyone involved could face as much as five to ten years in prison.
The bill will see the total amount bet at sports wagering facilities taxed at 3% with a $250,000 (£188,825) licensing fee to be paid by operators offering such betting options. License renewal will cost $25,000 (£18,881) a year.
The proposed legislation would require the majority of sports betting revenues to go towards the Kentucky Employees Retirement Systems Non-Hazardous and Kentucky Teachers’ Retirement Systems. Additional funds will be placed towards the state’s Educational Excellence Scholarship and horse racing development funds.
Sports Betting Progression in the US
Since the Supreme Court ruled in mid-May that the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act was invalid, significant changes have been made in just a few short weeks. Several states already had legislation in place for sports betting operations, while others have been busy introducing proposals to get the ball rolling.
Delaware was the first to launch sports betting, then New Jersey, with several others set to follow. It seems some states, like Kentucky, will have to wait until 2019 to officially offer legalized sports betting within their borders if legislation is able to gain the support needed to pass into law.
With this new measure by Senator Carroll introduced at a time when the environment is ripe for sports betting, there is hope that the bill will move forward and be signed into law. Only time will tell if Kentucky lawmakers will be receptive to the bill and vote accordingly to see the measure move forward, eventually becoming law.