03/07/2011 10:33AM

Kentucky House passes interstate compact bill


The Kentucky House passed a bill on Friday that will allow the state to join with other states in passing rules affecting the regulation of racing through an interstate compact. The bill will be sent to Gov. Steve Beshear, who has indicated that he supports the legislation.

Kentucky is the first state to pass such legislation. A total of six states will need to pass similar bills in order to put the interstate compact into effect.

If six states pass the legislation, the states can form a board that has the ability to pass rules that would immediately go into effect in all of the participating states. Individual states can also elect to reject any rule passed by the board.

Supporters of the concept contend that the compact would benefit racing by leading to uniform rules in the states that participate.

The Association of Racing Commissioners International, an umbrella group for racing commissions, has endorsed the interstate compact and has participated in efforts to build support for state legislation. However, some state efforts have run into resistance from horsemen’s groups, who have expressed concerns about whether their positions will be represented on the board.

Also on Friday, the House passed a bill that would require account-wagering companies to be licensed in the state. The bill had earlier passed the Senate. The bill also requires the account-wagering companies to provide quarterly handle reports to the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission.

The Kentucky legislature will recess for two weeks beginning Tuesday and then return for a two-day session to address any bills vetoed by Beshear.