FRANKFORT, Ky. — A plan to bring sports betting, online poker and fantasy sports gaming to Kentucky has officially taken its first step.
Legislators in Frankfort discussed House Bill 175 today, a bill allowing Kentuckians to download an app while on site at Kentucky Speedway or a Kentucky horse track that has betting machines.
Analysts predict that $20 million in tax revenue but that number could balloon to nearly $50 million if neighboring states like Indiana do not pass their own sports betting bills. Still, some believe the legislation is unconstitutional.
"The sports wagering bill as with most gambling legislation is an attempt by the gambling industry to slip daylight past the rooster so they don't have to amend the Kentucky Constitution," Stan Cave of Family Foundation of Kentucky said.
The Family Foundation sounded the alarm arguing that the bill lacks oversight and would promise one thing but deliver another.
"You can bet on horse racing legally on [a machine] right now," Rep. Adam Koenig said, "but more importantly, you can bet on sports on this right now illegally...it's not very hard"
Koenig sponsored the bill after the Supreme Court cleared the way last spring, saying he doesn't want to see Kentucky lose out. He said he feels government oversight will protect Kentucky consumers and help plug the pension hole.
When asked if he agreed, Matt Bevin reiterated what he has said before: "I think the juice isn't going to be worth the squeeze."