The Attorney General of Kentucky, Andy Beshear.

  • Attorney General Andy Beshear is running for Governor of Kentucky and wants to make gambling legal.
  • Kentucky is $33 billion in debt when it comes to their pension system.
  • Estimates show that legalized gambling could slowly help close the gap in the state’s pension crisis.

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Looking to become Kentucky’s next Governor, Attorney General Andy Beshear (D) has announced his plan to legalize gambling to help fund the state’s pension program. Beshear’s plan would make casino games, internet poker, and sports wagering legal in Kentucky, putting all potential revenue into a pension system that is severely in debt.

“Kentucky can’t afford to fall behind our neighboring states who are moving forward with the rest of the country on expanded gaming. We lose out on hundreds of millions of dollars a year,” said Beshear. “As governor, I will work to legalize sports betting, casinos, fantasy sports and prepare for online poker, and use the revenue from these activities as a dedicated funding stream for our public pension system.”

Current Governor Matt Bevin (R) is against not only the legalization of sports betting but all forms of gambling. He has stated in past interviews that the negative impact that gambling has on families is far worse than the potential revenue stream that would not amount to much in the long run.

However, Beshear has estimated that the state of Kentucky loses over half a billion dollars annually in revenue from neighboring states that have legalized gambling. His estimates also predict that $1.7 billion could be made in the first year of legalization with no more than 10 casinos. He claims that the legalization of wagering would not only help in solving the pension crisis, it would also create more jobs for residents and boost tourism statewide.

“While Matt Bevin is making up excuses and false claims, Indiana and our neighboring states continue to steal our revenue. I’ll always put the best interests of our people first — and that includes expanding gaming to create new opportunities here in Kentucky,” said Beshear.

Under Beshear’s plan, he would ensure that all gaming be done responsibly. This would mean that not-for-profit gambling addiction programs would be put in place for residents that needed to seek the appropriate help. All casinos and sportsbooks would be required to put a percentage of their income towards funding these programs. Both political parties in the state have shown interest in Beshear’s idea.

Presently, Kentucky has legal horse race betting and a state lottery. The gubernatorial election is November 5. Should Beshear be elected into office, sports wagering could become a reality in the Bluegrass State sooner rather than later.

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