Sports betting measure prefiled for 2020


State Sen. Julian Carroll, D-Frankfort, prefiled a bill Aug. 20 that would allow sports betting at any horse racing track or off-track wagering facility.

Bill Request 236 builds on two previously filed bills that Carroll proposed over the last couple of legislative sessions. He introduced the bills in anticipation of the U.S. Supreme Court striking down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, commonly known as PASPA, in May 2018.

BR 236 would use the revenue generated from sports wagering to fund education and the Kentucky Retirement Systems. It would define terms and establish a state gaming commission to be appointed by the governor. It would also:

• Establish penalties for tampering with the outcome of a sporting event.

• Establish a sports wagering distribution trust fund.

• Impose an excise tax on sports wagering at 25% of net sports wagering receipts.

• Amend several existing state statutes to include sports wagering.

The 2020 legislative session will begin Jan. 8 in Frankfort.

"Because of the General Assembly's failure to act on this, despite numerous opportunities, Kentucky continues to lose revenue daily that could be funding our schools and ailing pension systems," Carroll said in a news release. "Frankly, our residents are now vulnerable to an unregulated sports wagering market."

The bill requires a majority of the revenue generated from sports wagering to be deposited into the Kentucky Employees Retirement Systems Non-Hazardous and Kentucky Teachers' Retirement Systems proportionally. The Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarship also will benefit, with the remaining revenue going toward horse racing development funds.

Following the Supreme Court's PAPSA ruling, eight states passed sports wagering legislation, including Delaware, Mississippi, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and West Virginia.

According to the website, those states collected $144.22 million in revenue in the first five months of 2019. New Jersey led those states by bringing in $100 million in revenue in that time, while Pennsylvania was second at $17 million and Mississippi third at $13.8 million.

Nevada, where land-based sports gambling has been legal since 1949, led the nation with $115.9 million in revenue in the first five months of 2019.

Arkansas and New York began allowing land-based wagering in July. No revenue figures were available for those states. Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Montana, New Mexico, Tennessee and Virginia also have passed legislation legalizing domestic sports gambling.

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