Monday, November 28, 2022

Kentucky Sports Betting Bill Fails to Pass Before Legislative Session Ends

Must Read


Posted on: April 14, 2022, 08:12h. 

Last updated on: April 14, 2022, 08:57h.

Kentucky lawmakers ended the 2022 session of the General Assembly on Thursday evening unable to pass legislation that would legalize sports betting in the Bluegrass State.

Kentucky Capitol
The Kentucky State Capitol in Frankfort at dusk on a clear Thursday evening. The 2022 General Assembly concluded Thursday night without lawmakers passing sports betting or a couple other gaming-related bills. (Image:

House Bill 606, which would have legalized sports betting and online poker and regulate fantasy sports, never got a third reading on the Senate floor during the final two days of the session. It could not even got out of a Senate committee, even as leaders moved it from the Licensing and Occupations Committee to the Economic Development, Tourism, and Labor Committee on Wednesday.

“We just don’t have the votes,” Senate Majority Floor Leader Damon Thayer, R-Georgetown, said during a final-hour speech in the chamber.

Thayer previously described the bill’s chances of passing as a longshot before lawmakers returned Wednesday for the final two days of the session. Nonetheless, as a supporter of the bill, he gave it two readings late last month before the legislature recessed for the veto period. That gave the bill’s sponsor, state Rep. Adam Koenig, one final chance to whip up support for the bill.

Supporters told the bill was about four votes short as of Thursday morning.

The end of the session brought about a sense of disappointment from proponents of the sports betting bill, which finally passed the House last month for the first time since Koenig, R-Erlanger, filed his initial bill in 2019. They pledged to continue the effort to legalize what 33 other states and the District of Columbia already have.

All we did was postpone the inevitable,” Koenig told after the session concluded.

Koenig thanked Thayer, Senate Majority Caucus Chair Julie Raque Adams, R-Louisville, and Economic Development Committee Chair Wil Schroder, R-Wilder, for their efforts to drum up support in the Senate.

Other Kentucky Gaming Bills Also Fail to Pass

After his 2020 bill languished on the House floor for most of that session, Koenig waited to file HB 606 until late February to file it and three other gaming bills.

Of those, the only one that passed was House Bill 607, which reformed the state’s pari-mutuel taxes for horse racing and eliminated breakage on payouts to bettors.

The other bills were House Bill 608, which would have banned gray machines or skill games, and House Bill 609, which would have established the state’s first problem gambling fund.

HB 608 actually passed the Senate on Wednesday, but an amendment to the bill forced it to go back to the House for its concurrence.

Senate, House Fail to Reach Agreement

By Thursday afternoon, both Koenig and House Speaker David Osborne, R-Prospect, made it clear to reporters that the House would not consider the amended gray games bill unless the Senate took up sports betting.

Prior to that, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear during a press conference called out Thayer for not being able to get the votes in the Senate to pass the bill.

“My thought is if Damon Thayer wanted sports betting to pass, he’d get it passed,” said Beshear, who backs efforts to expand gaming in Kentucky. “It’s time. The people of Kentucky absolutely want this.”

Kentucky is surrounded by seven states. All of those except Missouri have at least passed a sports betting law, and lawmakers in Missouri are considering it this session. Beshear, a Democrat, noted that several of Kentucky’s neighbors that have sports betting passed it with GOP-led legislatures.

Thayer responded on social media, dismissing Beshear’s comment as “irrelevant, out of touch, and hyperpartisan.”

While Thayer and a number of other GOP senators backed the bill, Senate President Robert Stivers, R-Manchester, was not a supporter. Republicans control 30 of the 38 seats in the Senate.

Can Next Year be the Year?

A bill for the 2023 session is all but, to borrow a word from Koenig, inevitable at this point. While the session lasts 30 legislative days, he’ll have time to meet with senators before the session starts. That includes those who will be newly elected after the November elections.

Under Kentucky’s constitution, the odd-year sessions call for any bill generating revenue to get a three-fifths majority for passage. In the House, that would be 60 votes. In the Senate, that would be 23.

Last month, HB 606 passed in the House by a 58-30 margin. It likely would have received 60 votes if a few members who were not present had a chance to vote on the bill. So, it may boil down to the Senate again next year.

Based on the stronghold Republicans have, and provided that does not change in the upcoming elections, Koenig would need 16 GOP senators to back the bill. Most, if not all Democrats, would be expected to support it.


Source link

Cryptoultimatum Crypto Trading Signal Service


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

I show You how To Make Huge Profits In A Short Time With Cryptos!
- Advertisement -

More Articles Like This