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Written by Kristin Chute
April 7, 2023
Kentucky Joins List of States to Approve Sports Betting

Kentucky Joins List of States to Approve Sports Betting

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In a historic move, Kentucky recently became the 38th state in the US to legalize sports betting through House Bill 551. This new law allows sports fans aged 18 and over to place wagers at licensed sports betting locations, online sportsbook apps, and even horse racing tracks that will now operate as sports betting facilities.

Interestingly, only three other states allow domestic sports betting for bettors aged 18: Montana, Rhode Island, and Washington D.C.

The legalization of sports betting in Kentucky has opened up new avenues for sports wagering in the state, allowing sports enthusiasts a wider range of betting options and potentially bigger payouts.

A Long Time Coming

The legalization of sports betting in Kentucky is a significant development, a long time coming. Prior to this, only horse racing, online lottery, skill games, and daily fantasy sports betting were allowed in Kentucky.

House Bill 551 is projected to raise around $23 million annually, which will be directed toward the state's public pension system. This is an important development, as the state's pension system has been underfunded for years.

Governor Andy Beshear said, "This is an important step forward for our state as we work to address the challenges facing our public pension system." The revenue generated from sports betting will support the retirement benefits of teachers and other public employees.

Implementation of the Law

The legislation will go into effect in late June, giving the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission six months to establish rules and regulations. The commission will oversee the sports betting facilities and ensure that everything is above board and operating smoothly.

There is pressure to speed up the process and have the law put into effect before the American football season begins in September, but this remains to be seen.

Regulation and Opposition

The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission will regulate the new sports wagering facilities, ensuring everything is above board and operating smoothly. Despite the widespread support for the new bill, there have been voices of opposition.

Some opponents argue that sports betting is highly addictive and could lead to gambling addiction among Kentucky residents. This is a valid concern, as gambling addiction can have a devastating impact on individuals and families.

To address these concerns, the state has set aside a small amount of revenue to treat gambling addiction. This shows that the state is taking a responsible approach to regulating sports betting and ensuring that it does not negatively impact its citizens.

Potential Candidates for Online Betting Partners

Participating tracks can contract with up to three sports betting service providers. There is already speculation about who these providers might be, with FanDuel and DraftKings being among the potential candidates.

FanDuel and DraftKings are two of the largest sports betting operators in the US, and their entry into the Kentucky market could bring significant benefits to the state.

A Positive Development for Kentucky

The legalization of sports betting in Kentucky is a positive development that promises to benefit the state and its residents. The new law has the potential to generate significant revenue for the state, which can be used to address pressing issues such as underfunded public pensions.

The law also promises to provide sports fans with a wider range of betting options, making sports betting more accessible and convenient. While there are concerns about the potential negative impact of sports betting, the state has taken a responsible approach by setting aside funds to address gambling addiction.

Kentucky is poised to become a thriving new hub for sports enthusiasts and bettors alike. The legalization of sports betting in Kentucky represents a new era for sports enthusiasts and bettors in the state, and the potential for economic growth in the industry cannot be overlooked.

Only time will tell how successful sports betting will be in Kentucky, but one thing is for sure - the state has taken a responsible approach to regulating and operating sports betting facilities, and this can only be a positive outcome for the industry and the state.

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