The legalization of sports betting in Kentucky will be a climb after his the main champion has been defeated in the November elections.
Steven Doan defeated Representative Adam Koenigan eight-term incumbent from Northern Kentucky, in a Republican primary. Koenig is the chairman of the House Licensing and Professions Committee and was the main promoter of a bill to legalize, regulate and tax online gambling in Kentucky.
With Koenig’s defeat, lawmakers remain divided on what to do next regarding the issue.
GOP leaders at crossroads on Kentucky online gambling
GOP leaders remained silent as they addressed a panel for the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce’s annual meeting Legislative preview conference in Lexington.
Speaker of the House David Osborne said the sports betting discussion will continue, but who will lead it remains a mystery.
“I don’t know if a champion as such has come to the fore, but it will be a question that will continue to be discussed.”
However, Senate President Robert Stivers hinted that sports betting might not be an issue to watch in 2023. “If it was a winning issue, I don’t think Adam Koenig would have lost,” Stivers said.
Once Ohio sports betting launch in January, six of the seven states this Kentucky border will have some form of legal online gamblingMissouri being the exception.
- Ohio (January 1, 2023)
- West Virginia
- Missouri (waiting)
Will sports betting be a problem in 2023?
Earlier this year, a study by the Public Opinion Strategies for Kentucky Sports Betting Now, found that nearly two-thirds of Kentuckians support legalizing sports betting.
Public Opinion Strategies (POS) surveyed 500 registered voters noting that 65% supported sports betting vs. 26% opposed.
Further analysis of the investigation concluded:
- 69% of Democrats approve of sports betting
- 58% of Republicans approve of sports betting
- 81% of Independents approve of sports betting
Without a definitive leader, Kentucky’s online sports betting and gambling legalization could remain in limbo.