The state of Kentucky has yet to legalize, regulate, and offer sports betting, but that may change sooner rather than later in the Bluegrass State.
Over the last few years, lawmakers in Kentucky have explored and discussed legal sports betting, but have not yet moved to legislation. The state has become more informed via conferences, studies, and more but nothing has come of it yet.
Is 2020 The Year for Kentucky Sports Betting?
Via the River City News, the Interim Joint Committee on Licensing, Occupations, and Administrative Regulations recently met, and co-chairman of the committee Adam Koenig has hope for Kentucky Sports Betting in 2020. Koenig was the first to propose sports betting in legislation in 2019, and he is on record saying he will try again in 2020, which will be much easier.
In Kentucky, even years (2018, 2020, etc) means only the majority is needed for legislation, and Koenig said sports betting had more than 51% of the votes in 2019. Odd number years need at least 60% for approval. This is great news for Kentucky residents, as sports betting seems closer and closer.
The Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear is all in favor as well. He is quoted in saying:
“We talk about being competitive, other states are eating our lunch. It’s Tennessee that just authorized sports betting. It is Indiana that has leached money off of us. We already lose $550 million of tax revenue from what Kentuckians bet in our border states in casinos. It’s time for casino gaming, it’s time to treat fantasy sports for what they are, it’s time for sports betting, and we need to prepare for online poker, which is coming.”
Beshear makes a great point, as states that border Kentucky have casinos, sports betting, and more. West Virginia, Tennessee, and Indiana all have passed sports betting regulations. Additionally in West Virginia, Tennessee and Indiana you can already bet on sports on your mobile devices. All in all, West Virginia, Tennessee, Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Virginia, and Missouri either ahead of Kentucky or right there, meaning time is of the essence.
Fixed-Rate Betting on Horse Races
Another part of what is being proposed in the state of Kentucky is fixed-rate betting on horse racing. For those wondering, this means when a bettor places a bet on a horse at 5:1 odds, it would stay at 5:1 odds. Currently at most places (Kentucky included), the end result of the odds is what you get for horse racing, depending on certain factors such as bettors and volume on certain horses. It’s called “pari-mutuel” betting, which essentially means you are betting against others and the odds move until post. This is already in effect in New Jersey at DraftKings Sportsbook app.
Senate Majority Leader Damon Thayer has asked Koenig to include fixed-rate betting on horse races in his sports betting legislation upon re-introduction in the 2020 session.
Times are changing in Kentucky, which is great news for gamblers in the Bluegrass State.