Kentucky online poker dead

The latest attempt to legalize online poker and sports betting in the state of Kentucky appears to be dead.  

The spring legislative session In Kentucky was set to end on April 14, which was the deadline for a bill legalizing online poker and sport betting to pass. That bill, HB 606 would have allowed in-person and online sports betting and online poker in the state. HB 606 failed to get out of the Senate Committee on Economic Development, Tourism and Labor after a vote was withheld due to a lack of support on both sides of the floor.

It leaves state players with travel options or overseas poker rooms such as BetOnline and Ignition as their only options. 

Why is Kentucky online poker dead again?

HB606 wasn’t the only gambling-related bill that died in the Senate on April 14. Another bill, HB 609 which called for the creation of a five-member Kentucky Problem Gambling Assistance Board failed to get out of the Senate Committee on Appropriations and Revenue. Had the bill been passed and the Assistance Board been created it would have been in charge of a $50 million fund for problem gambling.

Kentucky legislators have made several attempts at gambling expansion in the state since the nationwide ban on sports betting was lifted in 2018. It looked like this might finally be the year Kentucky got it’s act together after several neighboring states, including Ohio, Tennessee, West Virginia, Virginia, and Illinois all legalized sports betting. None of those states has legalized sports betting so it would not be surprising in the future Kentucky tried to move ahead with sports betting and then some back to online poker later.

The moves happen nearly 15 years after the state brazenly seized poker domains back in 2008.