Kentucky Governor Wants to Legalize Online Gambling

Kentucky Online Gambling

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear (D), has barely been in his seat for two months, and he’s already winning over the gambling industry. He has called for the state to legalize online gambling and join 20 others across the USA.

It’s great that politicians are starting to see that online gambling can support the country’s fragile economy. Beshear has promised to use the funds to finance the bankrupt pension scheme, which needs all the help it can get.

News Highlights

  • Democratic Kentucky Governor pushing state to legalize online gambling.
  • The bill can pass without a constitutional amendment.
  • If passed, Kentucky would join a handful of US states that allow online gambling.

State Wide Gambling Legalization

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Only a few politicians have called for state-wide online gambling legalization, and Beshear is the latest. His views oppose his fiercest challenger Matt Bevin who called for a ban on gambling during his November campaign.

Instead, Andy Beshear realized the true potential of gambling and how much of a financial injection it could be.

We’re all working together to pass sports betting. It’s the right thing to do and will move the state forward.

Andy Beshear

Constitutional Amendment is Not Necessary

Kentucky gambling laws

Beshear is trying to get lawmakers to pass the bill without a constitutional amendment. He pointed out how voters approved an amendment for the Kentucky Lottery back in 1998, and he believes that sports betting and other forms of gambling in Kentucky can be legalized just like it.

It would take a statute to make them legal, but that’s still easier than getting three-fifths majorities to pass in two chambers.

Andy Beshear is pinning his hopes on that to make the process go smoothly. With a budget crisis looming over Kentucky, the new Democrat Governor is looking for alternative ways of revenue.

We have many unauthorized sources of revenue in the state. Casino gaming is already bringing in a lot of money in Indiana. There’s around $500 million in potential revenue; Indiana and Ohio are doing it, so why not Kentucky?

Andy Beshear

Bill HB 137

In December, Rep. Adam Koenig already pre-filed a bill that aims to legalize sports betting, online poker, and fantasy sports content. The bill, which is known as HB 137, has already passed with unanimous support in Kentucky’s Licensing, Occupations, and Administrative Regulations Committee. It is now waiting on a full vote from the House

In the meantime, the Kentucky Gov. is pushing for it to happen sooner rather than later. With a financial injection of around $500 million in the making, it’s plenty of extra cash the state could easily earn.

Sportsbooks, Gaming and Poker Legalization

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Should Koenig’s bill pass, it would legalize the state’s famous race tracks to open up retail sportsbooks. Online gaming would also be legalized, although operators would need to register at the sponsoring track for a year and a half.

Online poker and daily fantasy sports betting will be legalized as well, covering nearly all forms of gambling.

Where is Online Gambling Legalized in the USA?

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Currently, five US states allow online gambling (and a majority of other types of gambling) – New Jersey, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Iowa. Of those five, Nevada doesn’t allow racetrack betting and lotteries.

Kentucky is set to join an exclusive list of states that allow online gambling if the bill passes as soon as Gov. Andy Beshear hopes so.

Online gambling is already generating a lot of cash in many states, and Kentucky will soon become the latest one. 

About the Author
Shelly Schiff

Shelly Schiff - Collaborator

Especially enjoys writing about casino and bingo, but she also has experience creating content about crypto and partnerships.