Commonwealth Policy Center

A bill to legalize sports gambling passed a Kentucky House Committee. State Rep. Adam Koenig (R-Erlanger), sponsor of HB 606, said it would “dry up the black market” and also protect people from bookies who might rip them off. A major concern is that legalized sports gambling will corrupt sports. The 1919 Chicago Black Sox took bribes to throw the World Series. NBA referee Tim Donaghy was caught fixing games in 2007. And Kentucky basketball was suspended for the 52-53 season because three players took bribes for shaving points. Another concern is that state-sponsored sports gambling is often a gateway to the more lucrative online casino gambling, which can take place 365 days a year. If you sign up for a sports betting app, you’ll get constant ads to gamble on online video poker. Perhaps the biggest concern is the question of what widespread gambling does to our kids and our societal health.