03/31/2004 1:00AM

Kentucky hub bill stalls


A bill allowing for the establishment of an account-wagering hub in Kentucky was sent to a Senate conference committee on Tuesday after failing in the House of Representatives.

The conference committee is expected to take up the bill during a final two-day legislative session April 12-13. The Kentucky Legislature recessed on Tuesday for a two-week break.

The bill, which also contains provisions to allow artificially inseminated Quarter Horses to race in the state and a tax credit for the harness industry, was passed unanimously in the Senate on Friday. But the bill was defeated in the House on Monday by a 45-40 vote and sent to a conference committee.

The bill is supported by several Kentucky racetracks and the administration of Gov. Ernie Fletcher. Under it, handle through a hub would not be taxed, giving Kentucky an advantage over Oregon, where four large account-wagering companies are based. Oregon collects taxes of a quarter of 1 percent on all handle through the hubs.