Another part of Meredith’s plea for his colleagues in the state congress to adopt the proposal is that illegal and offshore sportsbooks are reaping rewards that should be going to the state. That creates a greater problem for law enforcement and also harms the local economy.
Meredith also made a slight change to his bill from its previous form. Part of the proceeds from taxable revenue would go towards creating and maintaining programs for problem gamblers.
A couple of other bills addressing the topic of gaming have made their way through the state congress recently, including HB539, sponsored by Rep. Killian Timoney (R-Nicholasville), and HB594, also backed by Timoney.
Kentucky is home to one of the best events in sports, the Kentucky Derby. That’s why it’s so fitting that racetracks are set to become day stays for sports bettors if the bill is passed.
On top of that, the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville are two major betting attractions in the college ranks. They have 11 March Madness championships between them (Louisville’s 2013 title was rescinded).
One of the gubernatorial candidates present at last week’s debate, Somerset Mayor Alan Keck, referenced those two programs in declaring his support for sports betting legalization.
“To me, it is hypocritical at best, egregious at worst, that we can celebrate the Derby [without a sports betting market], which I do,” said Keck. “And we can fund education through the lottery, which I think is tremendous, and you can’t put five bucks on UK-Louisville.”
The future of the bill will be determined by how it fares in the senate. The current legislative session will end on March 30.