Lawmakers in Frankfort formally cleared the way for Kentucky sports betting in the evening hours of March 30, paving the way for the state to keep up with its peers.
One early advocate for sports betting in Kentucky was Democratic Sen. David Yates of Louisville, who was a key cog in the machine that got HB-551 through the Senate this spring. The bill, which passed the Senate by a 25-12 margin after clearing the House by a 63-34 vote, allows Kentucky’s nine horse racing tracks to partner with up to three betting brands apiece.
The legislation slaps a 14.25% tax rate on all mobile wagers, while retail bets placed at one of those nine tracks are assessed a rate of 9.75%.
Senator David Yates: The Legalization of Kentucky Sports Betting
BetKentucky.com recently sat down with Sen. Yates to discuss his role in getting HB-551 across the line, as well as how he sees the Bluegrass State’s market shaking out once it goes live. Be sure to check out all of the top Kentucky sportsbook apps ahead of the anticipated launch.
Below is a transcript of that conversation, edited for brevity and clarity:
Q: Now that the dust has settled, what does it mean to you to see Kentucky become the 37th state to legalize sports betting in some form?
A: As a state senator who has long advocated for sports wagering, it is gratifying to see Kentucky become the 37th state to legalize sports betting in some form. Passing House Bill 551 is a major milestone for a state that has long neglected many types of gambling legislation. I firmly believe this will help generate revenue and create new opportunities for businesses and individuals.
Q: I know it’s been a long process to get sports betting across the finish line in KY. Take me through some of the legwork that went on in the Senate to get betting onto Gov. Beshear’s desk and how we got here?
A: The process of getting sports betting across the finish line in Kentucky was not easy, but it was certainly worth it. In the Senate, we worked diligently to build a broad coalition of support for House Bill 551, which included bringing together legislators, stakeholders, the sports and horse industry, and the public. We also engaged in extensive negotiations with our counterparts in the House to ensure the final bill could satisfy both chambers and be signed into law by Governor Beshear.
Q: What kind of potential does sports betting in KY have, in your opinion?
A: In my opinion, sports betting has immense potential in Kentucky, especially being the Horse Capital of the World. It is a much-needed revenue driver for the state, and also creates jobs and supports small businesses.
Q: A big part of 551 was the inclusion of KY’s horse racing tracks as betting venues. How can sports betting help the state’s racing industry in your opinion?
A: The inclusion of Kentucky's horse racing tracks as betting venues was a key part of House Bill 551, and I believe it will help the state's racing industry in several ways. First, it will help attract new fans to the sport and bring more revenue for the tracks. Second, it will help support the thousands of jobs dependent on the racing industry and helps ensure that Kentucky remains a leader in the horse racing industry.
Q: Why is now the right time to get sports betting in place in KY?
A: It creates new opportunities for businesses and individuals in the industry. It will also bring new excitement and energy to the state, which I believe ultimately helps us attract new residents and businesses.
Q: What would your parting shot be for our readers on sports betting in KY?
A: My parting shot for readers on sports betting in Kentucky is that this is an exciting time. With the passage of House Bill 551, we have taken a major step forward.
Once the state goes live, we will have all the best Kentucky sports betting promo codes for you. Stay tuned.
Follow: Current Super Bowl Odds