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Kentucky Governor Waking Up to Reality About Sports and Online Gambling

January 23, 2020

With each passing state that passes legislation to legalize sports betting and online gambling for its residents, a new state steps forward to capture the spotlight.

In recent weeks, the state of Washington has made noise that sports betting and online gambling might be coming the state's way. Bills have been presented to the House and Senate for consideration. There's also rumblings that significant legislation might be brewing in Connecticut.

In an effort not to be outdone, the Governor of Kentucky has made clear it might be time for Kentucky's state legislature to start taking a serious look at legalizing sports betting and online casino play for its residents.

In his recent State of the Commonwealth address, Gov. Andy Beshear told fellow legislators that it was time to “create the new revenue to meet the growing needs” of the state for the benefit of its residents. He went on to further explain how challenging it is "watching more than $500 million in gaming revenue go across the border to states like Indiana, Ohio and Illinois."

Indeed, the early returns out of Indiana and Illinois regarding sports gambling revenue are painting a pretty picture about the future of such activities. It's not surprising that Governor Beshear sees what's transpiring and wants to take steps to keep that tax revenue in his state's coffers.

After making his address, Beshear stepped before the press and announced that Rep. Adam Koenig has filed a bill to legalize sports betting. He further said that based on what he had already read, the bill would likely have his full support.

About the Koenig Bill

While several sports gambling bills were shot down in 2019, Rep. Koenig took note of the issues and created a bill to address the concerns that led to prior bills not seeing the light of day. One concern this new bill addresses is prior proposals to prohibit wagering on teams and events that reside in Kentucky. Koenig's bill would allow such wagers. The new bill also calls for the legalization of online casino gambling, though that's part of the bill that could be tabled until a later date.

Further showing his supports for the new bill, Gov. Beshear told the press: “I hope that isn’t the end of the conversation, because right now all of our neighboring states — all of them — most of them Republican-led, have embraced expanded gaming while we are being left behind.”


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