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Will the Sports Betting Bill Pass the Senate in Kentucky as Kentucky Legislature Makes its Return to the Session?

Sports betting is still not legal in Kentucky as numerous neighboring states offer some sort of sports gambling or are on track to do so. Approximately 532,000 attempts were made within Kentucky to March to place wagers in nearby states.

Kentucky Lawmaker Keep Pushes For Sports Betting in the Bluegrass State

Some residents have been crossing state lines to place wagers throughout the year, especially during March Madness, as the Wildcats made a brief appearance in the March Madness tournament. Others tried to place wagers in the state but were successful in their efforts.

House Bill 606, which is sponsored by Adam Koenig, would ultimately bring retail and mobile sports betting to the state, but the clock is ticking. The lawmaker keeps making the case that the state is missing out on a large sum of tax revenue that would go to good use in Kentucky, as seen by the blocked geolocation transactions.

John Cox, the Kentucky Chamber’s public affairs director, went on Twitter to show a map that showed where the blocked geolocation transactions were coming from over the span of 30 days in March. The data was collected by a Canada-based company, also known as GeoComply.

According to the information presented, 85 percent of the transactions were from residents who tried to place bets on mobile platforms in jurisdictions like Indiana, Virginia, and Tennessee. He stated that in March, nearly 41,000 “unique sportsbook player accounts” were geolocated in Kentucky.

The Question is Will the State Senate Pass the Sports Betting Bill This Week

A majority of the House supported the bill with a 58-30 vote. Now, it’s the Senate’s chance to decide after a ten-day veto period ended on Monday as the Kentucky legislature returns to the session for two final days, Wednesday and Thursday.

It’s unknown if the bill that would legalize sports betting, daily fantasy, and online poker, would make an appearance on the Senate floor to be voted on.

It must pass through the Senate to make it to Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear’s desk for consideration. Beshear has previously shown his support for bringing sports betting to the Bluegrass State.

If the Senate doesn’t support the bill, the initiative will die once again. The underlying question is whether or not there is enough support in the Senate.

The Bill Could Face Challenges in the Senate

Sports betting and other types of gambling have faced opposition from several groups that reside in the rural part of the state. Koenig is fully aware of the situation as it would take a large effort to gain support from those who oppose gambling to take place in Kentucky, but the bigger challenges of uncertainty lie in the Senate.

Senate President Robert Stivers reiterated that he has doubts that there is enough support for the operation to be approved in the upper chamber of the Senate. The problem is that Republicans outnumber the Democrats 30-8.

Kentucky has a long history of horse racing and legal pari-mutuel wagering. The Kentucky Derby is held annually in May at Churchill Downs in Louisville.

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