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State Representative says sports betting may be legal in Kentucky

Kentucky State Capitol
Posted at 6:16 AM, Feb 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-04 06:16:40-05

(LEX 18) — Sports betting may not actually be illegal in Kentucky, and one lawmaker says that's a problem.

After doing research, Republican state Rep. Jason Nemes said it's a matter of what defines sports betting.

Nemes tweeted that under the legal definition, sports betting is a game of skill, not chance, and that's not currently outlawed in the state.

He hopes Kentucky passes House Bill 137 to help regulate and tax sports betting. The bill also has measures to identify and help problem gamblers.

He says if lawmakers don't do anything, it will lead to an unregulated industry with extremely low taxes.

Family Foundation spokesman Martin Cothran questions the lawmaker's theory though.

"Blackjack is based on skill, baccarat is based on skill,” said Cothran. “There's skill in most casino games, but we don't allow casino games and even the people who are pushing sports betting admit that expanded gambling and casino games are not constitutional."

House Bill 137 reportedly has bi-partisan support by 34 of 36 lawmakers in Louisville, Lexington, and northern Kentucky.