Legislation to legalize sports betting introduced

A sports book clerk counts money at the Ocean Casino Resort in Atlantic City, N.J., Monday,...
A sports book clerk counts money at the Ocean Casino Resort in Atlantic City, N.J., Monday, Feb. 6, 2023. On Feb. 7, 2023, the gambling industry's national trade group, the American Gaming Association, predicted that over 50 million American adults will bet a total of $16 billion on this year's Super Bowl, including legal bets with sports books, illegal ones with bookies, and casual bets among friends or relatives.(AP Photo/Wayne Parry)
Published: Feb. 23, 2023 at 9:55 AM EST
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WSAZ) - A bill to legalize betting on sporting events was introduced in the Kentucky House of Representatives.

According to a news release, Representative Michael Meredith filed House Bill 551 seeking to legalize and regulate gambling on live sporting events.

“Kentucky residents are placing these bets today, either with illegal, unregulated offshore gaming entities, bookies, or by driving across state lines. As a result, the Commonwealth is getting none of the benefit and shouldering all the costs,” Meredith said. “Statistics show that more than half of our state’s population supports legalizing sports wagering, the time has come to ask ourselves if it truly is in the best interest of the people of Kentucky to prevent adults from legally placing a bet.”

HB 551 would require online gaming providers associate with a Kentucky horseracing track and provides the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission with regulatory responsibility over gaming companies. The bill would not legalize online poker or fantasy sports and would set a minimum sports betting age of 18.