Although wagering on horse racing is legal in the state, lawmakers are struggling to make Kentucky sports betting legal. There is a divide between conservatives who oppose the bill for religious reasons and lawmakers who see it as a new source of revenue.
A bill that will make betting on sports other than horse racing legal in the state is having a hard time getting through a full House. The bill went through a legislative committee one month ago. However, it is still waiting for a vote in the House.
House Speaker David Osborne told a political forum that Republican lawmakers are discussing the bill internally. However, he acknowledged that gambling is a divisive topic that evokes strong emotions.
Legalizing Kentucky Sports Betting
One lawmaker said that gambling is not the answer to improving the state’s revenue. It is against the Bible and morally wrong to depend on people losing money to add to the state’s tax. Republican party members have different opinions on the topic.
Senate President Robert Stivers told sportsbook pay per head reporters that he isn’t sure if the bill has enough support. That was contradicting Senate Majority Floor Leader Damon Thayer’s prediction that it would easily pass the Senate.
A similar sports betting bill died in last year’s session. Governor Andy Beshear supports the new bill and hopes it is the answer to meet the funding needs for education, health care, and pension. Also, it will stop nearby states from siphoning money from Kentucky.
Governor Beshear noted that sports betting is legal in 20 states. He fears that his state is trailing behind others. As a result, he wants to give local entrepreneurs the ability to open a bookie website and keep the sports betting dollars at home.
The governor campaigned to legalize casino gambling last year, which could have raised more funds for the state. However, the concept faded away when Senate Republicans didn’t want to tackle it before the session started.