LOUISVILLE, Ky -- One day after the Supreme Court reversed a 1992 decision on sports betting, some are questioning whether it's smart for states to bet big on legalizing sports gambling.
Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin has called this ruling a huge win for states’ rights while Indiana's legislative council is studying the impact of betting on college and professional sports.
“Sports betting has happened since the dawn of time,” said Gov. Matt Bevin. “People have always done it. We just came off celebrating a weekend where it happened at a pretty prolific rate here in Kentucky.”
While betting the ponies is almost a way of life during the first Saturday in May, it’s what happened on the second Monday that could shape the future of sports betting in Kentucky.
“Whether this ultimately results in any change for Kentucky is something that will be determined by our legislature in a future legislative session,” said Gov. Bevin. “It’s way too premature to determine.”
“I just think there’s more important issues out here we could be dealing with other than this,” said Nora Able. “I think the ones who are going to do it are going to do it anyway so go for it.”
While it's unclear which way the legislature may go many people around Louisville say they're all in on sports betting.
“Personally, I don’t have a problem with it,” said Able. “I’m a very devout Christian, but I mean it’s going to happen. Let them get the revenue. We need to move on to some other things to create some kind of revenue for our states.”
“I don’t see what the big difference is between horse betting and the other vices that are out there,” said Scott Benningfield.
As for how they would use the revenue generated by legal sports books.
“We’re in need of money for the pensions,” said Benningfield. “We’re in need of it for a lot of repairs throughout our education system. We definitely could use it.”
“Schools,” said Able. “I mean how about taking some that money and putting it towards our teachers. Infrastructure, I mean look at the streets in downtown Louisville, they’re really falling apart.”
“I’ve been hearing that,” said Gov. Bevin. “It’s the same thing I’ve heard for legalizing the recreational use of marijuana. There’s a lot of ways we could get money. We could rob banks if we wanted to, that’s another option. I advise against all of the above. It’s a sucker’s bet.”
GLI estimates that Kentucky loses hundreds of millions of dollars in gaming revenues to neighboring states every year.
State Rep. Jason Nemes says he is working on a sports gaming bill that he plans to pre-file ahead of the next session in January.
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