HomeKentucky Sports Betting NewsKentucky Senate overrules Beshear’s veto, creating independent sports betting regulator

Kentucky Senate overrules Beshear’s veto, creating independent sports betting regulator

As the United States Supreme Court only repealed the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 back in 2018, legalizing sports betting federally for the first time in the history of the country, the nation is still constantly changing its rules, regulations, and landscape in terms of sports gambling.

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As the Supreme Court essentially passed down the legality of the activity to each individual state to decide for its own residents, each state is currently in a different stage of its sports betting development. Kentucky is one of the states that is still seeing its KY sports gambling landscape shift constantly.

The latest attempt at a major advancement came in the form of Senate Bill 299, which was vetoed by Governor Andy Beshear earlier this April. Only the state’s legislature went on to override Beshear’s decision.

Senate Bill 299 survives Beshear’s veto

Senate Bill 299 was proposed as a measure that would allow for the formation of an independent sports betting regulator in the state, the first that would be distinctly separate from Kentucky’s governing bodies. Currently, the only existing regulator in the state is run under the umbrella of Governor Beshear’s authority.

It was no surprise when Beshear moved to block SB 299 and prevent the Senate from wrestling control of sports betting regulation away from him. His veto of SB 299 came along with over two dozen other veto attempts on Friday, April 12. Ultimately, the Kentucky Senate struck down Beshear’s veto with a 26-12 vote, followed by the House who echoed the Senate’s decision 57-38.

Kentucky Horse Racing Commission absolved

Now, SB 299 has cleared the way for Kentucky to form an independent source to regulate its sport betting and gaming. The new governing body of sports betting in the state will be called the Kentucky Horse Racing and Gaming Commission, replacing the previous regulator, Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, which existed under the purview of Beshear’s Kentucky Cabinet for Public Protection.

Beshear warned that SB 299 could cause upheaval in the development of sports betting in the state in his veto statement:

“In helping administer sports wagering in Kentucky, the Public Protection Cabinet and other central government agencies provide significant support services to the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission that would cease under Senate Bill 299. The bill mandates that beginning with fiscal year 2027, the corporation will no longer receive the $3.7 million from the General Fund and must be self-funded and self-sustaining. This will likely mean increases in assessments on race tracks and fee increases on racing industry licensees.”

For Beshear, he’ll still have a heavy hand to play in Kentucky sports betting regulation, as he’ll have the ability to nominate members for the KHRGC while he remains governor, although his choices will have to receive confirmation from the state senate.

The committee was chosen to have 15 members, who will oversee Kentucky’s gaming, racing, and gambling operations, including sports betting, horse breeding integrity, and licensing. The current members of the now-absolved Kentucky Horse Racing Commission will serve as the founding board of the new Kentucky Horse Racing and Gaming Commission, with SB 299 designating two-year terms.