Some Ky. lawmakers hopeful sports betting passes in next year’s General Assembly

Some lawmakers hopeful sports betting passes in next year’s General Assembly
Published: Apr. 15, 2022 at 10:26 PM EDT
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - One of the most talked about bills from Kentucky’s legislative session this year died with the ending of the General Assembly.

Sports betting will now have to wait at least another year to become a law in the commonwealth. That’s despite high support from Kentuckians and many lawmakers.

Despite clearing through the House last month with bipartisan support, sports betting legislation did not make it over the goal line in the Senate. In a series of tweets Friday, the bill’s sponsor, Adam Koenig, said it’s been a four-year fight for him, and he is not giving up. Another tweet said it just postpones the inevitable, and the issue is wildly popular.

According to the American Gaming Association, nearly 80% of Americans support sports betting.

“The region that I represent, it enjoys wide, wide popularity,” Floor Majority Leader Sen. Damon Thayer said. “I’ve been for it. I’ve been trying to get other people to be for it. But I can’t make people be for it if they don’t want to be for it.”

Sen. Thayer has been criticized for not pushing the measure. Koenig thanked him and other senators for supporting it.

Meanwhile, the bill’s failing was a victory for the Family Foundation, calling it “predatory gambling,” saying it is a bad public policy that hurts families and promotes harmful addictions.

“We have just continued to hear from members that our supporters and others have been flooding the capitol saying we want no more expanded gambling,” said David Walls with the Family Foundation.

In the end, Koenig wrapped up his thoughts by saying the measure has momentum, asking supporters to be positive and productive when making their voices heard.

There was also the issue of medical marijuana, which died in the Senate after passing the House. Supporters said they will spend time between now and the next session drumming up support for it.

Lawmakers will return to Frankfort in January for the next session, unless Governor Beshear calls for a special session before then.

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