Bobby Zen

In a vote late Thursday night, the Kentucky General Assembly passed a bill to establish an independent Kentucky Horse Racing and Gaming Corporation, according to a press release from Senate Majority Floor Leader Damon Thayer (R-Georgetown), the primary sponsor of the legislation. Senate Bill (SB) 299 revises Thayer’s original proposal to attach the commission to the Kentucky Department of Agriculture administratively. The legislative effort was revised following further conversations with stakeholders and House Speaker David Osborne (R-Prospect), which would now establish an independent Kentucky Horse Racing and Gaming Corporation.

In his support of the bill, Osborne drew comparisons to the Kentucky Lottery Corporation and the Public Service Commission. A Senate Committee Substitute was adopted to outline the corporation’s formation and set forth a robust framework for its operations. Subsequently, the Senate committee approved SB 299 on Tuesday and with passage in the House was delivered to the Governor on Wednesday.

Currently, HRC oversees all aspects of horse racing in the state, including venues housing historic horse racing (HHR) machines. SB 299 seeks to create the Kentucky Horse Racing and Gaming Corporation as an independent entity that regulates horse racing, sports wagering and charitable gaming in the commonwealth, effective July of this year.

“With the passage of SB 299, we’re taking a crucial step in safeguarding the integrity and prosperity of our signature horse racing industry,” said Thayer. “As a cornerstone of Kentucky’s heritage and economy, it’s imperative that we uphold strong oversight and management of these vital industries. I contend the success of this industry demands it be a stand-alone entity capable of utilizing its funding without having to get authorizations from a bureaucratic agency. I am proud to sponsor this measure to promote this integral part of the commonwealth.”

Under SB 299, the existing racing commission members would transition to become the initial board of the newly formed corporation, serving two-year terms. Future board members would continue to be appointed by the governor but would require approval from the Kentucky Senate and oversight from the Executive Branch Ethics Commission.

Read SB 299 in its entirety here.

The post Bill to Establish Independent Kentucky Gaming Commission Passes House appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

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