Kentucky is one of a declining amount of U.S. states that is still without a solid presence of gambling. Gambling in the state is mostly illegal, except for some contentious instant racing machines, but that may alter over the next few years. Andy Beshear, who wishes to become the next governor of the Bluegrass State, completely promotes all kinds of gambling, including sportsbooks and physical casinos.
Beshear is not scared to admit that he attaches importance to gambling. As the primary argument for legalisation of the activity in countries across the nation has become, he thinks that gambling is a way to increase local economies and, if not adopted, gamblers will simply head across state lines to place their bets in legal jurisdictions.
Last Thursday, with the Winner’s Circle Off-Track Betting Parlour and the Horseshoe Southern Indiana, both across the Indiana Kentucky border, the gubernatorial candidate demonstrated that point. They are a quick drive from Louisville, Kentucky being only 15 miles away, and Beshear is worried that gamblers–and gambling dollars–will be removed from the country by their easy to reach locations. The potential for losing millions in tax revenue is realistic, with some projections at $500 million or more for the quantity presently leaving the state.
In a declaration issued by the present Attorney General of Kentucky, he claims: “Expanded gaming is a long-overdue and common sense way to make Kentucky more competitive and protect the hard-earned pensions of our teachers and first responders.”
There are now only ten countries in the U.S. that do not give any type of casino operation, one of which being Kentucky. Of the seven countries that share their government boundaries, only two — Virginia and Tennessee — have no casinos. Ohio, Indiana and Illinois, extra border states, have casinos or racinos that are just beyond state lines, making them both in-state and out-of-state citizens very convenient.
Beshear intends to allow casinos, sportsbooks and more across the state to fight gamblers hopping across boundaries. He expects gambling in just the first year alone would produce more than $1.7 billion in financial activity.
Beshear is not the first to propose to the state gambling. Sporadic efforts to see legalised wagers coming to Kentucky have been taking place for 12 years, but the bills have always hit a brick wall almost as quickly as they were drafted. If nothing occurs earlier, maybe if elected this November, maybe Beshear will make a difference and lead Kentucky into the future.