Kentucky Legislators Asked To Consider Expanded Gambling
There are more than 10 states that have been flirting around with the idea of legalizing online gambling and some states about expanding gambling options in order to create a new revenue stream and bring in more gambling tax dollars for the state coffers.
Kentucky is one of these states that is in dire need of finding more funds or else legislators will have to think about raising taxes to meet the budget deficit. Andy Beshear, the Attorney General has sent a letter to legislators asking them to consider expanded gambling in the state.
AG Beshear has called on lawmakers to consider a proposal that will allow casino games like roulette, poker and daily fantasy sports to boost revenues in Kentucky. The letter also asks lawmakers to consider lifting the ban on sports betting which will open a big market for gambling operators.
The AG believes that if Kentucky were to expand gambling, it could generate an additional $200 to $600 million each year and the government could bring in a significant amount of revenue through gaming taxes which could then be used to fund the pension scheme. However, there are a number of legislators who do not agree with the proposal and one of them is Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin.
In a statement, Gov. Bevin said
The previous governor ran on this and couldn’t get it done when he had a much more favorable legislature, so it’s not going to happen legislatively, but if it did for some reason I would veto it because it’s a sucker’s bet
Neighbouring States Eating Into KY Gambling Revenue
One of the reasons why AG Beshear is pushing for expanded gambling in the state is because he believes that neighbouring states are eating in Kentucky’s gambling revenue. Beshear said that Kentucky residents regularly cross state borders because they have more gambling options in other states. He estimates that over $1 billion in gambling revenue is flowing out of Kentucky and casinos in neighbouring states have become the beneficiaries.
While AG Beshear has made a strong argument for expanded gambling, this is not the first time that Kentucky legislators have discussed the possibility of expanded gambling. The opposition to expanded gambling is very strong as many believe that it will do more damage to the poverty level in the state and not provide as much assistance as one is led to believe.