Kentucky lawmakers continue to develop sports betting bill

KY working on draft of sports betting bill
State Rep. Jason Nemes, State Sen. Morgan McGarvey and State Sen. Julie Raque Adams. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
State Rep. Jason Nemes, State Sen. Morgan McGarvey and State Sen. Julie Raque Adams. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A group of Kentucky legislators from different political parties are getting together bring sports betting to the Bluegrass. This comes after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that states will decide their own rules on sports betting.

State Senators Julie Raque Adams and Morgan McGarvey, along with State House Representative Jason Nemes have been hearing input from people on both sides of the political spectrum and listening groups with varying interests in the topic. Three months later, they've created a draft the state's potential sports betting bill.

"Getting sports gaming here is something we need to do because it will provide needed revenue and its money people are already spending anyway," McGarvey said.

McGarvey said because sports betting is already happening in the state, it's time to benefit from it.

"What we're doing is we're bringing it out of the shadows from the bookies and we're bringing it into a more respectable regulated way that also gives the state some money," said McGarvey.

Nemes said they estimate the state could earn between $5 million to $60 million a year. The group has already decided professional sports will be included, but high school athletics are off limits. There is still a debate on college sports, which accounts for the range in projected revenue.

"This is really I think going to turn into a really large conversation and it's I think a very appropriate conversation for the state of Kentucky to have," Raque Adams said.

Nemes said they are taking everything into account while they continue developing the bill.

"We want to be able to identify gamblers and get them help," Nemes said. "While we think it's a good thing to bring to Kentucky because of a lot of reasons, revenue stream, liberty and those types of things, we do recognize it does have some bad components as well so we want to address those at the front end," Nemes said.

The bill will be presented when the General Assembly convenes in January.

Copyright 2018 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.