Kentucky Senate Committee Approves Bill to Legalize Sports Betting

Frankfort, Ky.–On Wednesday, the Senate Licensing and Occupations Committee voted 9-1 to advance House Bill 551, which seeks to create a legal marketplace for sports wagering. The bill, which would establish a sports wagering fund to pay for the regulation of the industry and a problem gambling fund, would make the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission the exclusive regulator of sports betting.

The nine horse racing tracks in Kentucky would be licensed for an initial fee of $500,000 and a $50,000 renewal fee, with an opportunity to contract with up to three service providers that would provide either onsite or mobile/internet wagering technology. The bill would also prohibit tampering with the outcome of sporting events, prevent employees of tracks or service providers from betting with the company they work for, and prohibit sports event participants from wagering on events in which they participate. The racing commission must establish a system within six months of the effective date of the bill.

The bill will now go before the full Senate for further discussion and a vote.

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