Rep. Adam Koenig

  • House Bill 241 will be presented at the upcoming legislative session to bring legal Kentucky sports betting to the local law books.
  • Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear has publicly announced his support for legal sports betting.
  • Neighboring states already have legal sports betting markets.

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Sports betting in Kentucky will be up for debate as a new sports betting bill is set to be presented at the upcoming 2021 legislative session.

While sports betting bills in the past have failed to gain traction, Governor Andy Beshear has publicly supported bringing sports betting to the Bluegrass State.

With the COVID-19 shutdowns causing losses in the state’s revenue, as well as neighboring states having thriving sports betting markets, legal Kentucky sports betting is in prime position to become a reality this time around.

Kentucky Sports Betting

Like many states, major losses came in 2020 for the Blue Grass State. The budget for schools, repairs, and city workers have decreased as the state attempt to recover from the continued issues caused by COVID-19.

Having a legal sports betting market of their own could potentially boost local revenue exponentially. This is why Governor Beshear is in support of the new sports betting bill.

“I believe the time was right years and years and years ago when virtually every state around us, all Republican states, already have it,” said Beshear. “The fact that we haven’t done it at this point is not only silly but puts us at a competitive disadvantage.”

Kentucky’s neighboring states, including Illinois, Indiana, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia all have their own thriving sports betting markets, which motivates local Kentucky bettors to drive across the state’s borders to bet on sports.

This is revenue that could be added to the local Kentucky budget, but instead it is being spent in other markets and the Blue Grass State continues to miss out.

This legislative session will see HB 241 presented in front of lawmakers with the hope that something can get done to keep the revenue in Kentucky.

Similar bills have failed to gain traction in the past, so there is still the strong possibility of sports betting being pushed back even further. This especially true this year since the issue of historical horse racing machines will take precedent over sports betting. However, the growing optimism in Kentucky is this bill has a legitimate shot at passing.

Sports bettors in Kentucky may soon be able to wager locally without the need to travel out of state.

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