States all around the country have been quick to move to legalize sports betting, but that hasn’t been the case in the state of Kentucky. There was some initial discussion about legalizing sports betting in Kentucky in 2019, but that quickly came to a standstill.
Now it appears that the discussion will be picked back up in 2020, and some lawmakers think that something could get done this year. The next legislative session is set to begin on Jan. 7, and a new bill is expected to be introduced on that very first day.
If the previous attempts to legalize sports betting have failed in the past, then why do lawmakers think it has a good chance of passing now? There are plenty of different factors that could help to play a role in the legalization of sports betting in 2020, but one of the biggest reasons is that it is a budget year.
Legalized sports betting has brought in a ton of revenue in states where it has been legalized, and that could help to affect the budget that is presented to the governor. The state of Kentucky currently has a huge deficit when it comes to the budget, and sports betting could be used to fill that void.
Early projections have claimed that the state of Kentucky could bring in over $20 million in tax revenue in the first year of legalized sports betting.
Another major reason that a sports betting bill could be passed in the state is that there will be a new governor in place. Matt Bevin is the current governor of the Bluegrass State, and he is extremely conservative when it comes to sports betting and gambling as a whole.
Bevin was not going to sign a bill to legalize sports betting, but he will no longer be in charge when the new year starts. Andy Beshear will be the new man in charge in the Bluegrass State, and he has already expressed his desire to legalize sports betting.
This Bill Set To Look Like 2019 Bill
Representative Adam Koenig is the lawmaker that is set to propose this bill at the beginning of January, but unfortunately, he hasn’t made a lot of changes to last year’s bill. One of the biggest problems with last year’s bill was the way mobile betting would be handled. The 2019 bill required in-person registration before a mobile sports bet could be placed, and Koenig is reportedly going to use the same type of thing this year.
The good news is that Kentucky will be looking to legalize mobile/online betting from the beginning, but this is an unnecessary step that will definitely hurt revenue numbers.
The Midwest portion of the United States has become a hotbed for sports betting with Iowa, Indiana, and Tennessee all launching sports betting in 2019. Illinois has also legalized sports betting, and it should go live during the year 2020.
Kentucky already hosts one of the most bet-on sporting events of the year, which is the Kentucky Derby. Horse race betting is King in Kentucky, but state lawmakers are trying to offer betting on other sports as well.