Any hopes of legalizing sports betting in Kentucky this year have come to an end. This week, state lawmakers passed a streamlined budget for the next fiscal year in order to stabilize the economy and to keep spending at the current levels.
Unfortunately, what the budget failed to include was a large revenue stream that legalized sports betting would have generated. The fact that sports betting wasn’t factored in at all signals that this industry will be put on the backburner until at least 2021.
A Hastily Thrown Together Budget
This budget was hastily thrown together and didn’t have the same thought, discussion, and debate as it may usually have. When it came time to vote on the budget, the Senate provided a unanimous vote of 34-0.
The same day the House also took up the bill and then approved it by a vote of 80-10. The next stop for the budget is the Governor’s desk, where he will then sign it.
It wasn’t just legalized sports betting that had to take a backseat in the streamlined budget. Other areas that took a hit were pay increases for teachers, education funding, and increases to state employee salaries.
The Governor Was All For Legalized Sports Betting
What’s so frustrating for proponents of legalized sports betting is that the Kentucky Governor, Andy Beshear, has been seen as a supporter of sports betting. He also wants to start building casinos in the state, which would obviously be huge considering there aren’t any at the moment.
Residents of the state of Kentucky are also behind the movement with the majority in support of legalized sports betting and expanded gambling in general.
Beshear saw legalized sports betting as a great way to keep residents in their home state, spending money at in-state casinos, and thereby creating revenue for Kentucky.
As it stands, residents can easily take a drive to neighboring states such as West Virginia and Indiana to engage in legalized sports betting, which then takes the revenue stream out of the state.
Beshear has gone on record declaring that he’s tired of trailing behind neighboring states and their gambling markets getting Kentucky’s dollars.
When Will They Bring Up Sports Betting Again?
Typically, a budget is passed as a two year package, which means it would have taken the state through June 2022. On the positive side of things, because it’s just a one year budget lawmakers should have no problem reviving sports betting discussions and legislation in early 2021.
Although 2020 is out of the equation, Kentucky could be in a prime position to pass sports betting and increase their overall gambling operations in 2021 as most economies will be looking for increased revenues after this year.
As a longtime freelance writer, avid sports fan, former athlete, and experienced sports bettor, Rick Rockwell has risen up the ranks at GamblingSites.org to become the self-professed "King of the Blog" in his first year with the site. ...
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