Commonwealth Policy Center

Gambling expansion has been pushed for decades but now it has widespread bi-partisan support. HB 137 would legalize betting on college and pro-sports. It would also legalize online poker through the Kentucky lottery. The bill passed out of committee last week and proponents argue that Kentucky should regulate sports betting in order to keep out organized crime. However, critics say the corruption will eventually come. Tom McMillen authored the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act in 1992. That bill banned sports betting nationwide. But it was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2018. McMillen said legalization of sports betting in Kentucky “raises a whole level of risk, there’s a one hundred percent probability of a scandal,”… and “Kentucky has had a history of that in the past.”