Pro-gambling Andy Beshear of the Democratic Party trounces Bevin to clinch Kentucky’s top seat. Beshear is expected to actualize his expanded gambling plan.
Kentucky Gets Gambling Advocate, Beshear, as Governor
Former Attorney General Andy Beshear of the Democratic Party stunned incumbent governor Matt Bevin to clinch the gubernatorial race in what was a paper-thin victory. Beshear won the race by a mere 5,150 votes, however, his win comes with plenty of promises with online gaming and sports betting being the most notable.
Currently, gambling enthusiasts in Kentucky have to go neighboring states to get a fix apart from horse racing. West Virginia, Missouri, Indiana, Ohio, and Indiana are some of the states that offer options to Kentucky residents.
According to Beshear, Kentucky should legalize and regulate sports betting and online gaming to raise revenues without having to raise existing taxes.
Beshear said that “Estimates show that Kentucky loses over $500m in tax revenue a year to neighboring states and less than ten casinos could generate over $1.7bn in economic activity in their first year,” adding to this, Beshear said, “Indiana alone consistently nets hundreds of millions of Dollars in revenue every year.”
On the other hand, Bevin was strongly opposed to the idea, terming the proposal a “sucker’s bet” while further saying that societal values override tax revenue. To underline his stand, Bevin, in a radio interview, argued that suicides are now a nightly occurrence.
However, during a gubernatorial debate, Bevin denied having made such a statement with the American Gaming Association terming them as ‘patently false.’
Beshear’s Gambling Policy
During sportsbooks grand opening at Horseshoe Southern Indiana, Beshear unveiled his plan to have an expanded gambling package that would boost public pension plans. For firefighters, police officers, and teachers.
Further in the plan, Beshear states that he’ll require casinos to support treatment facilities financially. On the other hand, the plan will task the Cabinet of Health and Family Services to provide gambling addiction statistics on an annual basis.
Also detailed in Beshear’s expanded gambling plan, a portion of the tax revenues will go toward bolstering local government operations without burdening Kentucky residents.
What Next for Kentucky?
With Beshear’s win, online gaming and sports betting now have an excellent shot of legalization and this could be the case in 2020. Nonetheless, Beshear will still face several obstacles in his quest to legalize online gaming and sports betting.
One of the biggest obstacles will be the General Assembly considering that the Republicans have the numbers going into 2020. Having said that, now that a Democrat will head the state, chances are the lawmakers will loosen their stand as far as gambling is concerned.
Debates on expanded gambling will not be taking center stage for the first time. During Governor Steve’s (Beshear’s father) term – 2007 to 2015, talks of legalizing gambling hit the floor but went as far as Frankfort.
If there are no changes, Beshear will be sworn into office early 2020 but reports indicate that Bevin will go down fighting.