Kentucky Sports Betting Bill’s Fate May Rely on ‘Hand-to-Hand Combat’
It’s getting down to crunch time in Frankfort for the Kentucky General Assembly’s 2022 session. But the sponsor of a sports betting bill is not ready yet to throw in the towel on his bill passing this year.
Kentucky state Rep. Adam Koenig presents House Bill 606, a law that would legalize sports betting, in the House on March 18. It passed that chamber on that day, but its prospects of passing the senate are less certain, as the General Assembly has just four legislative days left in the 2022 session.
There are four legislative days left in the Kentucky General Assembly session. Two of those will take place on Tuesday and Wednesday before a nearly two-week veto session begins. Lawmakers are set to return to Frankfort on April 13 and 14 to consider any overrides of vetoes issued by Gov. Andy Beshear. They still can, and do, pass new legislation in those final days. State Rep. Adam Koenig, R-Erlanger, has pointed out he has until 11:59 pm ET on April 14 to get his House Bill 606, which would legalize sports betting, through the Senate.
On March 18, the bill passed the House for the first time since Koenig started filing his proposal in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) decision four years ago. That 58-30 vote, with 37 of the 75 House Republicans voting for the bill, came two years after the bill first passed in committee, only to languish on the floor for two months.
Last year, Koenig filed a sports betting bill. But legislation to codify historical horse racing (HHR) machines in a short session after a state Supreme Court opinion cast doubt on the ability of the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) to permit and regulate the games.