Kentucky’s Sports Betting Dreams Squashed

Kentucky’s Sports Betting Dreams Squashed

The state of Kentucky was hoping for a sports betting bill that could legalize athletic wagering markets this year. However, the state’s one-year budget didn’t give heed to incoming revenue from sports betting.

General Assembly moves quickly

The Kentucky General Assembly was in a hurry to pass the one-year budget for the state amidst the Coronavirus pandemic. The outbreak of COVID-19 has disrupted regulated life across the US with several states ordering shutdowns. It has also affected the gambling industry adversely with casinos under lockdown and sporting events being canceled, leaving several newly launched sportsbooks high and dry.

Kentucky’s Sports Betting Dreams Squashed

According to the Lexington Herald-Leader, the state has not included sports betting in its current revenue stream. The budget was passed unanimously 34-0 in the Senate and then passed 80-10 in the House. Now, it is awaiting Gov. Andy Beshear’s signature of approval. Senate Democratic Leader McGarvey said that the budget is quite austere and there should have been tax reforms and gambling legalization. However, it didn’t turn out the way it was supposed to.

Troubled times for Kentucky

The US, and the world at large, is going through an unprecedented crisis that has never been seen before. Thousands of people have died because of the COVID-19 outbreak, business activity is halted and several economies are showing signs of cracking. Last November, Gov. Beshear’s win was seen as a big benefit for gambling legalization in the state. He openly supported sports betting and aimed to bring casinos to a state which hasn’t had even a single physical casino ever. Gambling in the state has always been limited to horse racing wagers.

However, his first state budget will ignore both legalized sports gambling and increased education funding- including increased salaries for state employees and teachers. Though the governor said that he doesn’t want residents to go to other states for gambling, it is evident that he will have to be content with trailing other states for another year.

Historically, the religious and conservative groups of the state have been opposed to gambling. The situation is extraordinary in 2020 because the General Assembly usually passes a two-year budget. As the future remains uncertain, they have only passed a one-year budget. This brings on hope as the lawmakers may first focus on getting rid of the COVID-19 pandemic and then hope to bring back sports betting legislation to the General Assembly in 2021.

About sherlock

Sherlock Gomes loves to write and express his views on anything related to Gaming, Gambling, & Casino. He has been covering Gaming for more than two years now.