Pixabay “It wasn’t about not having enough votes in [the GOP] caucus. It was about not having enough votes, period — Republicans and Democrats.”Lawmakers in Kentucky have failed to pass a bill to allow online poker and sports betting.
HB 606 would have legalized online poker and sports betting in Kentucky, but the bill died in the Senate Committee on Economic Development, Tourism, & Labor. The legislature adjourned sine die on Thursday.
A separate bill, HB 609 , also died in committee, the Senate Committee on Appropriations and Revenue. That bill called for creating a five-member Kentucky Problem Gambling Assistance Board, which would have administered a $50 million fund for problem gambling.
In a twist, the $50 million came from a $300 million settlement that Flutter, the parent of PokerStars, agreed to pay in 2021 in order to settle an 11-year dispute over online gambling that took place in Kentucky between 2006 and 2011.
Senate Majority Floor Leader Damon Thayer (R-Georgetown) said he and other supporters of online poker and sports betting “didn’t have the votes” to get either bill passed.
“It wasn’t about not having enough votes in [the GOP] caucus,” Thayer said. “It was about not having enough votes, period — Republicans and Democrats. On the last whip count, the undecideds that were worked pretty heavily by the advocates for sports betting over the last week, they all swung to ‘no.’”
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