HB175 not constitutional

LEXINGTON, KY — An attorney for The Family Foundation told a House committee today that the so-called sports wagering bill was neither constitutional, nor was it only a sports wagering bill.

Stan Cave, attorney for the group, said the bill, HB 175, was “an attempt by the gambling industry to slip daylight past the rooster, so they don’t have to amend the Kentucky Constitution,” since the bill is attempting to do by statute what must be done by a constitutional amendment. The Kentucky Constitution only allows for pari-mutuel betting on horse races, a state lottery, and charitable gaming.

He also pointed out that although supporters are calling it a sports wagering bill, it would actually allow wagering on other things, such as the Oscars and the Emmys. “Does the bill do what you think it does? . . . A lot of what the gambling industry does is bait and switch. They will use words that are commonly understood and then define them in a statute or in a regulation differently than you think they mean.”

Under the bill, he said, “you can wager on the coin toss, whether it will be heads or tails at the beginning of a game; you can wager on parlays, accumulations, multipliers where the odds are fixed, pure games of chance, not skill.”

Cave also pointed to the Boptrot scandal of the early 1990s in which several legislators were charged for crimes related to gambling legislation. He pointed out that under the so-called sports wagering bill, oversight would be given to the Horse Racing Commission, which isn’t even under the Executive Branch Ethics Code.

“There’s nothing to be gained from the second kick of that mule,” said Cave.


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