LOUISVILLE, Ky. — "Have you filled out your bracket?” is probably the most common question around Kentuckiana the past few days. This is the first NCAA men's basketball tournament since a US Supreme Court ruling brought another question: “Why don't we have legalized sports betting in Indiana or Kentucky?
Sportsbooks are packed in Vegas for the opening weekend of the NCAA men's basketball tournament. It’s one of the biggest weekends in "Sin City." For decades it was the only place you could legally wager on sporting events which created traditions.
Louisville’s Mark Blieden and his son flew out of Louisville today for their annual Vegas trip. Mark's been going there with friends for a long time, for the past eight years they've brought their now grown sons to join the fun.
Since last year's Supreme Court ruling allowing states to legalize sports gaming, 30 states including Indiana and Kentucky have bet on legalizing sports betting filing bills that have yet to advance out of the first round. An elite eight states now have legalized some form of sports gaming.
Many of those eight prepared for the High Court ruling hoping to compete with the dominant number one, Nevada.
"Mississippi, West Virginia, these are the states that are doing sports gaming," said Kentucky Senate Minority Leader Morgan McGarvey. “This isn't some Democrat versus Republican idea, this is people are betting on sports as we're seeing right now during March Madness. Does Kentucky want to regulate that and make some money on it?”
The Louisville Democrat is frustrated that Kentucky's bill failed to advance past a successful committee vote. Indiana's bill cleared the Senate last month and is on its way to the House.
Meanwhile, Nevada continues to cash in.
Mark said, even if our area legalized sports gaming, he'd still make the Vegas trip. He and others wonder whether Indiana and Kentucky could cash in on more than just excitement if they were to break out of their bracket and pass a sports gaming bill.