Kentucky Sports Betting Bill Dies on Final Day of Session

Spread the Word:

Hopes for sports betting in Kentucky and the bill to that effect died Thursday, the final day of the 2022 legislative session. Despite support from both chambers and the governor, Kentucky has failed to legalize sports betting for the fourth consecutive year.

The next year will be even harder if the state lawmakers try again.

In a speech from the Senate floor on Thursday night, Senate Majority Leader Damon Thayer said that the sports betting bill lacked the votes to be approved. It was surprising as the upper chamber did not conduct a formal public vote on the sports betting measure.

House Bill 606 – sponsored by Rep. Adam Koenig – would have regulated retail and mobile sports wagering through casinos and racetracks, with an annual potential of 22.5 million in revenue for the state.

Besides legalizing statewide mobile and retail betting, HB 606 would have also regulated online poker and daily fantasy sports.

In March, the House approved the bill, allowing the senate four weeks to decide its fate.

What Happened on the Final Day?

Koenig used gambling language to gauge the possibility of the bill’s passage on the final day of the legislative session before it became apparent that the bill was dead for this year, and probably for the next.

HB 606 had cleared the House, 58-30, last month before Thayer – a supporter – moved it to a favorable committee Wednesday. He wanted “to give it a chance” on the final day of the session. But he had said that the measure would not move to the floor unless it had enough votes to pass.

The Kentucky GOP traditionally doesn’t vote on a measure unless there’s a consensus among themselves.

But before the lunch break, it became clear that HB 606 would not get approval in the upper chamber. The sources close to the development claim that the senators were only four votes shy of meeting the majority.

Thayer, who was visibly perturbed as he could be seen when he met during and after a meeting with reporters on the floor, reiterated his support for the Kentucky sports betting bill.

Sports Betting is “Natural” to Kentucky

Thayer told the reporters that he believed sports betting was a natural extension of Kentucky’s history and tradition of wagering on horses in the Bluegrass State.

Later that evening, when he took to the Senate floor, he said he was disappointed that they could not pass sports betting as they didn’t have the votes. But he expressed hope that they would be successful by next year.

“I will continue to advocate for us adding this to our betting menu,” Thayer said, believing they should allow the state residents to choose of their own free will, like all of the states bordering Kentucky that allow legal sports betting.

Why Could the Bill Not Get Through Kentucky Senate?

After clearing from the house, the sports betting legalization efforts in Kentucky died in the Senate Committee on Economic Development, Tourism, and Labor despite several attempts to onto the chamber floor for a vote.

On Wednesday, Sen. Whitney Westerfield introduced 17 amendments to the bill, making it almost impossible to pass the measure amid the final hours of this year’s session. The amendments would have required approval in the House again before returning to a Senate committee and then to a full chamber for the final vote.

Senate President Robert Stivers said he did not think the votes existed in the chamber to pass the sports betting bill.

If HB 606 had been approved, it would have required Gov. Andy Beshear to his consideration. The Democratic governor already supports the measure.

Thayer previously told the media that sports betting is opposed in rural areas of the state, which is also reflected in the senate, where Republicans outnumber Democrats 30-8.

What’s Next?

The Kentucky General Assembly’s inability to legalize sports betting at this year’s session, which ended Thursday on its 60th day, means the state residents cannot legally bet on sporting events in the state.

It should be noted here that betting on horse races is already legal in Kentucky – home of the annual Kentucky Derby.

The untiring Koenig will introduce another sports betting bill in the 2023 legislative session, hoping to outlast his opponents.

“For four years, I have been working on sports betting bill in the House, and I finally got it passed, and the Senate had it four weeks,” which were not enough, Koenig said.

Though lawmakers plan to bring another sports betting bill in 2023, the odd-numbered sessions in the Bluegrass State are limited to mere 30 days and require a three-fifths majority to approve bills.

It means that sports betting legalization is most likely to come until 2024.

Related News

Kentucky sports betting bill dies
April 1, 2022

Last Chance for Kentucky Sports Betting Bill to Be Approved by Senate

Kentucky lawmakers are set to take a final vote to legalize the sports betting bill, which received its first reading in the Senate on Tuesday. The first read is a […]

read more
Kentucky Derby 2022 winner
April 13, 2022

How to Bet on the 2022 Kentucky Derby Online

The Kentucky Derby, the most popular betting race in the United States, is just around the corner. The Super Bowl of horse racing takes place annually on the first Saturday […]

read more
January 22, 2020

Kentucky Gambling Guide

Legal Kentucky Online Gambling Sites & Apps Kentucky is highly restrictive when it comes to gambling, which is defined as staking or risking something of value upon the outcome of […]

read more
January 18, 2020

Kentucky Gambling Laws

Charitable gambling is permitted in the form of raffles and bingo, although these games can’t be accessed online. There are no laws against social gambling, so there’s nothing to stop […]

read more
Kentucky Derby 2022 winner
May 9, 2022

Rich Strike Wins Kentucky Derby 2022 in Second-Biggest Upset Ever

Rich Strike won the 2022 Kentucky Derby Saturday in what turned out to be the second-biggest upset in the history of the race. At 80-1 odds, Rich Strike was on […]

read more
Kentucky Supreme Court
December 23, 2020

PokerStars Ordered to Pay Kentucky $1.3 Billion in Damages

The Kentucky Supreme Court has upheld the original ruling ordering PokerStars to pay damages amounting to $1.3 billion to the state. The ruling that came Thursday concludes a decade-long legal […]

read more
Kentucky sports betting bill
January 13, 2021

Kentucky Lawmaker Files Sports Betting Bill 2021

Kentucky saw a renewed attempt at legalizing sports betting in 2021 on Saturday when state Rep. Adam Koenig filed a bill to this effect. The latest attempt follows the Kentucky […]

read more
Kentucky sports betting bill dies
January 8, 2021

Kentucky Governor Pushes For Legalized Sports Betting in 2021

Governor Andy Beshear has said that Kentucky sports betting should be legalized this year during the legislative session that started Tuesday. In a pre-recorded interview, the governor said, “The fact […]

read more
January 20, 2020

Kentucky Charitable Gaming Laws

238.500 Purpose; intent; construction The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky hereby declares that charitable gaming conducted by charitable organizations is an important method of raising funds for legitimate […]

read more
Kentucky sports betting bill dies
March 19, 2022

Kentucky House Votes to Legalize Sports Betting for the First Time

Fortune favored Rep. Adam Koenig this time as the House passed a sports betting bill on Friday for the first time, legalizing sports betting in Kentucky. The bill now heads […]

read more
Kentucky Supreme Court
March 18, 2022

Kentucky Sports Betting Bill Moves to House Floor

Update: The Kentucky House has passed sports betting bill HB606 – it’s now up to the Senate to approve the bill before the session ends. A Kentucky sports betting bill […]

read more

Stay Updated & Receive Exclusive Offers

Be the first to know when new states legalize online gambling and gain access to exclusive casino and sports betting promotional offers.