The Outcome of the 2019 Gubernatorial Race will determine the Future of Gambling Expansion in Kentucky

For a long time, elections in the US have been viewed as a platform for competition between major parties. These elections normally pit the Democratic Party against the Republican, with the winner getting the bragging rights in the region.

Things are quickly changing; policies are now becoming one significant aspect that the electorates check before deciding where to place their votes. Kentucky State will be going to the polls on November, 8 for a chance to reelect the current governor or replace him with another candidate. Expansion of the Gambling industry is one aspect that will help the voters in expressing their opinion in the ballot box.

While many people think that President Donald Trump amassed much of his fortune from gambling activities, most Republican leaders in Kentucky are against the growth of the industry. On the other hand, the Democrat leaders feel that it’s through the expansion of the gaming activities that can spur the state to grow. The pro-gambling Democrats argue that the neighboring states have embraced the gaming industry, and consequently generating substantial revenue.

Just like in the national politics, the incumbent governor is a Republican while the opposing Democrats are confident of winning the seat. The prospect of gambling can be brilliant if the Democrats sweep the majority of the local seats as well as taking the major elective positions in the state.

 Senator Julian Carroll sponsored a bill in the past in his pursuit to help introduce sports wagering. However, his effort didn’t reach the relevant Senate Committee. Reelection for Carroll may present another opportunity to reintroduce the bill.

Elsewhere, Erlanger State Representative Adam Koenig managed to lure 20 sponsors for a bill that unanimously passed. Koenig legislation seeks to legalize online poker, horse racing, daily fantasy, and sports betting. The bill had been unanimously passed by the Licensing, Occupations and Administrative Committee. However, the bill didn’t manage to be tabled on the floor of the House.

Koenig isn’t the only Democratic lawmaker whose effort to expand gambling in Kentucky has failed. Wilder representative Dennis Keene and his counterpart Al Gentry from Louisville efforts to make a constitutional amendment to introduce various aspects of gambling have suffered. Though Al Gentry failed to make it, Keene’s amendment has a brilliant focus for 2020

Studies by various researchers have projected that making casino legal in Kentucky can help the state generate revenue of up to $465 million. It’s the main reason why the crusaders of gambling legislation are working tirelessly to boost the state budget. Furthermore, legalization of various components of gambling like casinos, sports betting, and online poker is enough to fund the Kentucky Pension plan.

Another bigwig in the Democratic Party who nurture the aspirations to expand gambling is the current Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear. The lawmaker will be the Democratic Party candidate in the coming Gubernatorial Elections. Tom Latek of the Richmond Register reported that Beshear is looking forward to helping push for legislation that will introduce casino in the state. His legislation plans do not end at gambling; he also wants bills that seek to legalize the medicinal use of marijuana passed.

The gubernatorial hopeful feels that other states are nourishing in terms of development because of the revenue from the industry. “Kentucky cannot afford to fall behind our neighboring states, which are moving forward with the rest of the country on expanded gaming” Beshear lamented.

The ruling Republican governor Matt Bevin hasn’t been afraid to express his dissatisfaction with the campaigns to expand the gambling sector. He argues that the Americans who walk to a casino have “lost both dignity and hope.” Some opinion polls show that the incumbent has a 6% lead over his challenger in the gubernatorial race.

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