- Legal States
Fiona Simmons March 1, 2022 3 min read
Kentucky to Make Another Effort to Legalize Sports Betting
Kentucky is back at it and if you ask Republican Rep. Adam Koenig, there is a very good reason why all of this is happening. The state is looking to make sports gambling legal, after years of trying to pass poker legislation. Speaking on Monday, Koenig said that Kentucky has everything to win and perhaps just as much to lose if it failed to act at a time when all of the state’s neighbors are legalizing their sports betting – or have already launched it.
More Efforts to Bring Betting Outflow in Kentucky
It’s an opportunity for state residents to do with their money as they please and not spend them offshore or across the border, the representative argues. Kentucky has already failed once in passing sports betting legislation during the last legislative session. Sports betting should be able to generate around $22 million to the state, based on the previous bill’s estimates.
Now, Koenig wants to make another push for it. With this in mind, the representative argues that the taxable amount could be higher. He suggests that a new 1.5% tax be applied to all pari-mutuel wagers along with historical racing machines.
All of these measures Koenig says would help bring the black market back into the light and assist with the state’s purse. Kentucky’s public debt is climbing rapidly and while the sports betting revenue would not make much of a dent, it would be a relief and a good way to use the money that is already spent but not taxed offshore or elsewhere.
Making a Bold Move to Legalize Sports Betting
Koenig is hoping that he can offer a comprehensive and rational bill that would feature as many measures related to sports betting as possible. This way, instead of trying to pass different measures for horse racing and traditional sports betting, the lawmaker can have a one-in-all measure leveraged with the state legislature. If this fails, though, Koenig confirms that he will try to create separate legislations and try to see at least one of those through.
Meanwhile, the state is already trying to push a mobile betting bill, although that has not gotten far. Koenig also said that Kentucky could be legalizing sports betting this year. He spoke in January, outlining a possible course of action that is now captured in his latest legislative push. Whether he succeeds would mostly depend on whether he delivers a powerful enough argument with those who oppose the bill in the House and Senate.