Kentucky sports betting bill advances
February 20, 2019 12:48 PM
by Staff & Wire Reports
Kentucky took the first step to legalizing sports betting on Wednesday as a legislative committee strongly endorsed a bill that one estimate says would bring in at least $20 million a year in new taxes.
Kentucky seems to be in a race with its neighbors to make sports betting legal following a U.S. Supreme Court decision last year that struck down a federal law that had banned the industry in much of the country. West Virginia has already legalized sports betting, and state officials in Tennessee, Ohio and Illinois are considering it.
If they are going to do it, Kentucky lawmakers have an economic incentive to do it quickly. An analysis by the firm Commonwealth Economics found the state could generate as much as $48 million a year in taxes if Kentucky legalizes sports betting while most of its neighbors do not.
But if all the other states have sports betting, Kentucky’s revenue projections drop to $20 million a year.
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