Lawmakers in Frankfort are pushing for sports betting in 2020.

  • Kentucky Representative Adam Koenig wants to legalize sports betting in the state.
  • The year 2020 is a budget year for Kentucky.
  • The new Governor of Kentucky has spoken out in favor of gambling.

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Kentucky lawmakers think that 2020 is the best shot to legalize sports betting for the state.

What Sports Betting Could Look Like

Kentucky Representative Adam Koenig has expressed interest in bringing up a new sports betting bill in 2020. This would be a different bill than the one that was pre-filed in late August. Kentucky sports betting could have both a retail and a mobile option available.

“You would be able to go to one of the existing tracks and place a bet and/or go to those existing tracks, download their app and then you would be able to use that app anywhere in the state of Kentucky,” said Rep. Koenig.

This model closely reflects what Rhode Island sports betting has. Rhode Island bettors have to go to a casino to register for an online account. Once they do that, bettors are free to wager anywhere in the state.

Good Chances For Legalization In 2020

The year 2020 is likely the best year for sports betting to be legalized in Kentucky. One of the major reasons for this is 2020 is a budget year in Kentucky. Lawmakers in the state will create a new budget that will be in place for the next two years.

Sports betting could potentially fill in some of the major budget gaps that the state is facing. Pensions in Kentucky are severely underfunded. The potential $20 million in tax revenue from sports betting could help solve this issue. Rep. Koenig said that sports betting will not fill the hole by itself, but anything they can find is worth it.

It is not just the fact that it is a budget year that makes it possible for sports betting in Kentucky in 2020. Kentucky has also elected a new Governor. Governor-elect Andy Beshear has said that he is pro-gambling. He has expressed interest in using pro-gambling to help fix the struggling pension funds in the state. This means that the next Governor is likely to sign any sports betting bills that come his way.

All that is left is convincing other lawmakers that an expansion of gambling is good for Kentucky. If Rep. Koenig is able to do so, then legal sports betting should happen in Kentucky next year. The upcoming legislative session in Kentucky begins on January 7, 2020.

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