The sports betting bill in Kentucky, United States, received approval from lawmakers last Thursday, March 30, ending the last hurdle in the Senate after a few days uncertain whether supporters achieved enough support.
The Senate approved the proposal by 25 to 12, forwarding it to Democratic Governor Andy Beshear, who defended the issue. “We love our sports in the community,” Senate Majority Leader Damon Thayer said in promoting the bill during the debate.
“And people want to be able to make the choice – of their own volition – to bet on a sporting event, like almost all neighboring states,” added Thayer.
The proposal was one of the main unknowns at the conclusion of the 30-day legislative session. Supporters of the measure needed at least 23 votes to secure passage, as it is a revenue-generating proposal in a budget year.
The Senate finally decided to allow state residents to legally place bets on sporting events. Opposing lawmakers said the practice is highly addictive and could harm Kentucky families.
Sports betting bill could inject $23 million a year into public coffers
The estimate is that the passage of the sports betting bill will result in tax revenue and licensing fees worth US$ 23 million per year. This would make it possible for US state horse racing tracks to be licensed as betting facilities for a fee of US$500,000 and an annual renewal cost of US$50,000.
Participating tracks can contract up to three sports betting service providers at the track itself or through online platforms and mobile apps. Service providers would have to pay USD 50,000 for an initial license and USD 10,000 per year to renew.
The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, in turn, would regulate sports betting operations. Revenue from taxing these bets would cover regulatory expenses. One of the proceeds would go towards a fund aimed at dealing with problem gambling. The remaining income would go to the state’s public pension system.