Kentucky Passes Sports Betting Law

Written by:
Gilbert Horowitz
Published on:

They may be late to the party but Kentucky lawmakers somehow got sports betting passed with some significant obstacles.

Time was not on their side.  There was also a 23-vote thresold this year that does make passage difficult, especially since the votes were not there last session without the thresold in place.

House Bill 551 passed the Kentucky Senate and heads to Governor Andy Beshear for his signature.  The Governor has already said he supported the legislation.

Rep. Michael Meredith told LSR this week that he was optimistic the votes were there.


“I feel pretty good as we move into the last couple of days,” Meredith said. “I’ve continued to have conversations with members of the Senate throughout the veto recess and I think the votes are there. It’s obviously going to be close with the 23-vote threshold this year, and anything can happen at the last minute, but I feel like we have the votes.”

Senate Majority Floor Leader Damon Thayer (R, Georgetown) felt a little less confident.  He said Wednesday night the votes simply were not there.  That could change.

"As of this moment, it does not," he revealed as to the expected vote count in favor. "But there are some undecideds and I’m hopeful that with a good night’s sleep and a fresh set of eyes that we can have the votes to pass it tomorrow (Thursday),” he said.

Kentucky is currently surrounded by states that have legalized sports betting, including Indiana, Tennessee, Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia and Illinois.  Only Missouri, which shares a small border with Kentucky, has declined to legalize the activity.

The legislative body also managed to pass a bill allowing for medical marijuana.

- Gilbert Horowitz,