2021 Outlook: Kentucky Governor Beshear urges sports activities betting
But it could be a short session that focuses on a different game theme Kentucky Sports betting should be legalized this year, Governor Andy Beshear said.
Beshear touched on several topics in Governor Andy Beshear’s first episode: First year reflections on Kentucky educational television. Around the 35-minute mark, Beshear is asked by the host if the time is right to legalize KY sports betting:
“I believe the time was right years and years ago when virtually every state around us, all Republican states, already had it. We’re talking about a competitive business climate, but right now we’re not allowing business to happen in every state around us.
“The fact is, you can drive right over the border, virtually any of our borders, and place a bet on your cell phone, and a dollar or a percentage of that bet will go to these states for their roads and bridges, their schools and theirs for other needs. The fact that we haven’t done this at this point is not only silly, but puts us at a competitive disadvantage. “
Kentucky surrounded by sports betting
Beshear misspelled easily as states typically tax and not handle sports betting revenue, but his point remains the same. These bets placed by Kentuckians generate tax revenue in five of Kentucky’s seven border states:
The other two border states, Missouri and Ohiowill also make efforts this year to legalize sports betting. Three bills have been pre-tabled in Missouri and Ohio has been negotiating the legislation for years.
Sports betting could be overshadowed
Kentucky’s shot at legal betting is again led by MP Adam Koenig, whose 2020 draft law passed away in committee last year. Koenig told LSR last month that there may not be enough time, as much as he wants sports betting to be legalized.
Kentucky must first legalize historic horse racing after the state’s Supreme Court ruled that some of the systems used for the slot-like games do not comply with pari-mutuel laws. Only with 30 days Kentucky’s shortened session this year may run out of time to discuss sports betting after addressing the HHR issue.
HHR machines brought $ 33.8 million in taxes for the state in the last fiscal year. The revenue from the machines also boosts the wallets for the state’s horse racing industry.
“Historic horse racing is something that is absolutely necessary if we are to continue to be the thoroughbred capital of the world,” said Beshear. “It supports thousands and thousands of jobs, and it’s time for the Senate and House to stand up for an industry that we can’t let go of anywhere else.”
Beshear wants full casino game
While Beshear plans to take care of historic horse racing and sports betting this year, he ultimately wants to see full-fledged casinos in the state.
“Let’s go ahead and play an entire casino game,” said Beshear when asked if the tax revenue from sports betting was worth it. “Indiana has it. They make hundreds of millions of dollars a year in revenue. We should do that.
“I’m ready to start sports betting, but how about we compete with West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Ohio and Missouri who all have casinos on or near our borders.”
Full casino gaming will not be an issue for this shortened session, he confirmed. However, when it comes to legalization, he expects it to be over.
“We want to help bring sports betting over the line [this year]”Beshear said.” We think, if people see this and the opportunity arises, hopefully we will be closer to the full blown game that I believe the majority of Kentuckians want and are fed up with their dollars pave the roads in our neighboring countries. “