GOP Vote NO, Block Kentucky Online Poker and Sports Betting Bill

GOP Vote NO, Block Kentucky Online Poker and Sports Betting Bill

Kentucky is not ready for online poker yet. In fact, there is no sign that the state will legalize it this year or next. However, sports betting proponents hope to legalize sports next year when the political environment is much more favorable.

Last week on Thursday, online poker and sports betting supporters hoped for good news on the last day of the 2022 legislative session. However, their hopes were turned to trash when HB 606 failed to make it out of committee. The Senate Committee on Economic Development, Tourism, and Labor looked at the bill, but they never voted on it.

Another bill, HB 609, also faced the same fate. The bill called for creating a problem gambling initiative in Kentucky.

The initiative would be funded by $50 million from the $300 million settlement PokerStars was asked to pay last year. The Senate Committee on Appropriations and Revenue did not vote on the bill either.

Why Did the Bill Fail?

According to one supporter, the bill did not cross the finish line because there were insufficient voters. Georgetown senator and Senate Majority Floor Leader Damon Thayer was one of the avid supporters of the legalization of online poker and sports betting in the state.

The senator noted that it was a case of Republicans and Democrats. He pointed out that some people were undecided about the bill but switched to ‘no’ at the last minute.

Thayer expressed his disappointment. He said that he had done everything to get the bill passed. However, he could not force people to vote yes on something they did not want.

Thayer also had another reason as to why the bill may have failed. He pointed out the legalization of betting on historical horse racing, suggesting it ruined the chances of HB 609 and HB 606 passing this year.

Last February, the legislature approved SB 120; the bill described pari-mutuel betting, noting it should include previously run races. Thayer thinks that this year’s bills came too soon.

He hopes that things will be better in 2023 after getting through the election and bringing new members who would vote to support the legalization of sports betting.

Why the Optimism?

Thayer expressed that he was energized about the future of sports betting and poker. He even lauded Representative Adam Koenig for moving both bills out of the State Representatives. Adam’s efforts gave the online poker and sports betting bill more power in the Senate than before.

Thayer feels that the bill’s advocates should be more optimistic. He noted the bill had moved further in the state’s General Assembly than before. Thayer promised to continue pushing for the bill’s legalization despite rejections from religious groups in rural areas.

Despite Thayer’s optimism, there is some pessimism. The Kentucky constitution instructs the legislature to meet for just 30 days during odd-numbered years and 60 days on even-numbered years. The bill’s advocate had 60 days this year to convince the legislature to approve HB 606 and half that time next year.

The constitution also requires a bill meant to increase revenue to gain the support of 3/5 of lawmakers in all legislative chambers. This is a challenge because it would mean 60 members of the House of Representatives and 23 Senators supported the bill. Yet, HB 606 got 58 votes in the House on March 18, while 30 voted against it.

Up To $3,000 in Bonuses! Play Now
100% up to $3,000 Bonus

Bovada is our most recommended ONLINE CASINO and POKER ROOM for US players with excellent deposit options. Get your 100% signup bonus today.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply