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Volume 25 No. 61
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Kentucky Senator: Sports Gambling In State Has "Good" Chance

Kentucky State Sen. Morgan McGarvey said that a "bipartisan group of legislators is working on a bill to legalize sports gambling" in the state, and predicted that the odds of it passing when the General Assembly meets in January are "good," according to Justin Sayers of the Louisville COURIER-JOURNAL. McGarvey, speaking at yesterday's Louisville Forum, a local nonpartisan public issues group that hosts debates, said, "This is not a panacea. It's not going to cure all of Kentucky's financial woes. But it is a way to get some money coming to already depleted coffers." Kentucky Family Foundation Senior Policy Analyst Martin Cothran said that he does not "envision a scenario" where his group would "support legalized sports gambling in Kentucky." The KFF "plans on lobbying against the proposal." McGarvey "laid out a number of reasons" why sports gambling would be "good for Kentucky, namely as a way to offset funding shortages for public services" like university funding and infrastructure. He estimated that legalized gambling would "bring in" $5-30M annually for the state. McGarvey also said that legalized gambling would be a "way to make money off something that's going on already." But Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin is another "potential roadblock," as he has "spoken against sports betting in the past." However, after the SCOTUS ruling, Bevin said that he would be "open to hearing proposals from legislators" (COURIER-JOURNAL.com, 8/8).