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Kentucky Will Try Once Again for Online Poker in 2020

March 13, 2020

Kentucky is a state that has been slow to jump on the bandwagon of legalized online betting. In 2019 a measure was introduced in the state legislature that would have made allowances for online sports betting and online poker. Proponents of the bill are now concerned that the measure will not get approval in 2020.

Rep. Adam Koenig created a bill in 2019 which stalled. Koenig introduced the bill again in 2020 with higher hopes. Although Koenig is a Republican, he is facing opposition from those in his own party who are hesitant to move forward. Most Democrats support the legalization of online sports betting and online poker in Kentucky.

There have been high expectations among both lawmakers and citizens for legalized online poker to make its appearance in the Bluegrass State. There is also eagerness on the part of some lawmakers who want to begin funneling much-needed revenues into the state's treasury. A failure to pass the measure in 2020 would probably delay passage until 2022 at the soonest.

A problem that seems to have slowed down the approval of online poker in Kentucky seems to be a long list of amendments that have been tacked onto the proposed bills. It is difficult to find agreement among lawmakers where the amendments are concerned. These amendments often involve matters of licensing and regulation, and they can sometimes involve how online poker will be taxed.

Another impediment to the passage of online gambling bills in Kentucky has been horse racing interests in the state. Kentucky is the home of Churchill Downs which hosts the Kentucky Derby. Some members of the racing community are worried about how the legalization of online poker will affect horse racing revenues.

All eyes will be on Kentucky during the next legislative session. There are those who believe passage of an online poker bill is still possible.


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