Legalized pari-mutuel gambling | Kentuckians For The Commonwealth

Legalized pari-mutuel gambling

Senate Bill Number: 

Senate Bill 120 legalizes pari-mutuel slot machines at a race track or simulcast facility (referred to as Historical Horse Racing). This activity, which generates millions of dollars in revenue for the horse industry and track owners, was ruled unconstitutional by the Kentucky Supreme Court last September.

Besides the gambling aspect, the bill was controversial because it does not correct that this activity is negligibly taxed. Applying comparable tax rates could generate $100 million annually for the state General Fund. 

For more background, see:

Bill Sponsor(s): 
Sen. John Schickel and others

SB 120 was approved by the Senate Licensing & Occupations Committee and by the full Senate, 22-15, on February 9.

It was moved through the House in near record time, getting a committee hearing and approval on February 10 and approval by the full House, 55-38, on February 11. Gov. Beshear signed the bill into law on February 22.

An effort, through a House floor amendment, to increase the excise tax on historical horse racing from 1.5% to 3.5% was ruled out of order by House Speaker David Osborne. Another bill, HB 481 proposed a 27% excise tax on the gross commissions from the slot machine wagering. It was not assigned to a committee or allowed a vote.

House Concurrent Resolution 69 proposed a Pari-mutuel Wagering Taxation Task Force. It passed the House, 88-6, on March 12, but was killed by Senate leaders.

See how Senate and House members voted on SB 120.

KFTC's Position: 
KFTC Opposes