Kentucky Sports Betting Bills Filed, At Odds Over Betting On In-State College Teams

The Bluegrass State has a major decision to make when it comes to sports gambling.

On Wednesday, a pair of vastly different proposals to legalize and regulate sportsbooks were filed in the state of Kentucky, one in the Senate and one in the House.

The proposals are Senate Bill 24 and House Bill 137. Both were pre-filed in 2019 but officially hit the table this week. Kentucky made a strong effort to pass legislation last year, but neither chamber in the legislature was able to advance a proposed law. Hopes are slightly higher this time around, thanks to this being a budget year and the assumption that the additional tax revenue might be more appealing to policymakers.

Kentucky is eyeing $20 mm to $48 mm for its coffers under legal sports wagering.

Kentucky sports betting is still very much a jump ball, not just because of its chances of coming to fruition, but also because there is no consensus on whether the state should or should not allow betting on collegiate sports involving Kentucky teams. Kentucky, home to no major professional sports franchises, is one of the nation’s hotbeds for college basketball. A ban on wagering on the University of Kentucky and Louisville, for example, would send some bettors across the border into Indiana, where the bets are legal.