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Plenty of Kentucky’s reputation as a state is based on its ability to produce and sell tasty bourbon, yet when it comes to legal sports gambling, for some reason there is a high level of moral resistance that is now facing another challenge at the legislative level.
State Representative Adam Koenig’s sports betting bill – House Bill 606 – just got a unanimous pass by the House Licensing, Occupations, & Administrative Regulations committee last Wednesday, but with only a few weeks left in the state legislative session, it could be too late.
HB 606 would allow Bluegrass State residents to place wagers on sporting events on smartphones and at horse tracks, a legal market that is projected to generate around $22 million in yearly revenue, a new money stream that could certainly benefit many Kentuckians.
It’s not the first time a sports betting bill has been introduced to the Kentucky congress, but Rep. Koenig’s HB 606 has bipartisan support, and he feels confident this time around it could happen, telling the media:
I think we’re in position, hopefully, to have better luck going forward.
But that was not so for Koenig in the recent past.
In 2020, Rep. Koenig introduced an earlier version of his sports betting bill to the KY congress, but it failed to pass out of the House, as did his updated take in 2021, so this year’s version is no doubt written in such a way to address the functional issues that are keeping it from passing.
But some objections are fiscally moral in nature, like the ones brought up by David Walls, executive director of The Family Foundation, who offers up this argument against a legal sports betting market:
[Sports betting] is an industry not designed to create wealth but to simply transfer wealth, primarily from the poor to the wealthy.
Except the same could be said about any vice-related market, including cigarettes and bourbon, and it assumes that by making something illegal it can be eliminated, which couldn’t be further from the truth as Kentucky and other states are finding out.
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Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager. Email: [email protected]More info on Mike Lukas
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