Kentucky Sports Betting Conversations Beginning Anew
2021 was another big year for the legal U.S. sports betting industry, and 2022 is shaping up to be much of the same. There will be a number of states that once again attempt to legalize sports betting, and Kentucky is going to be on that list.
Representative Adam Koenig has already made a public announcement that he will be introducing a new Kentucky sports betting bill in 2022. The next legislative session in Kentucky will begin on January 4 and will go through the middle of April.
Koenig and other sports betting supporters have suggested that there is more than $2 billion illegally wagered on sports in Kentucky each year. The goal would be to increase tax revenue by legalizing this growing industry, which is a strategy other states have used.
Previous attempts to legalize sports betting have fallen short because there has been some public outrage. Activist groups are worried about the potential for other crimes if sports betting becomes a legal option throughout the state.
Other lawmakers believe that this will finally be the year that Kentucky is able to legalize sports betting, and it could happen quickly. Since there have already been attempts in the past, most lawmakers have a good understanding of what this bill will look like, and what will be included.
Ohio Putting Pressure On
The news of another attempt at Kentucky sports betting comes on the heels of Ohio just legalizing the industry. Ohio Governor Mike DeWine recently signed a sports betting bill into law, and that state could launch the industry at some point in 2022.
Ohio and Kentucky share a border, and Kentucky will be losing out on additional revenue if Ohio is able to get sportsbooks offered first. The bill that was signed in Ohio is going to turn that state into a massive market with plenty of sports betting options.
Kentucky could launch sports betting before Ohio if a bill is passed quickly, and it could turn into quite the race.
Horse Race Betting Will Be Included
When the discussion on Kentucky sports betting begins again in 2022, there are going to be plenty of stakeholders that attempt to get in on the debate. The state of Kentucky is known for horse racing, and leaders from that industry are going to be heard once the bill is introduced.
Betting on horse races is already legal in the state of Kentucky, especially at Churchill Downs, the site of the Kentucky Derby. Nearly all of the states in the U.S. allow horse race betting options, but it’s not always a popular wager.
It’s unclear how the horse racing industry will be included in any future sports betting bill, but it will be something that is figured out. The horse racing community in Kentucky does believe that sports betting should be legal, and there is hope that an agreement can be reached.