Lack of sports betting in Ky. looms large ahead of Super Bowl

We’re just days away from the Super Bowl, where it is estimated that a record 31.5 million Americans plan to make a bet on the game.
Published: Feb. 8, 2022 at 10:29 PM EST
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - We’re just days away from the Super Bowl, where it is estimated that a record 31.5 million Americans plan to make a bet on the game.

The American Gaming Association says over $7.6 billion will be wagered on the game, which features the Cincinnati Bengals.

However, in Kentucky, sports betting is not legal. It’s a topic that has come up the last several years, and is expected to come up again soon in Frankfort.

Sports betting is a popular trend, and several states have passed legislation approving it. Every state bordering Kentucky except for Missouri have some legislation, but one lawmaker is hoping to change that.

“It’s disappointing, because we’re missing out on revenue for the state,” Representative Adam Koenig said.

Rep. Koenig has been a strong supporter of sports betting in Kentucky and has filed legislation before to get it passed, saying Kentucky is losing out of millions of dollars.

“Any given football Sunday, it’s not unusual for us to take over 10,000 bets and do north of several million dollars just for one Sunday alone,” FanDuel General Manager Ross Ryan said.

Sports wagering is legal in 30 states and Washington D.C. The industry is growing as more states pass laws in favor.

“What we are really seeing the growth is among bettors who used to bet through illegal options and are now migrating to the legal marketplace,” said Bill Miller with the American Gaming Association.

The topic has not come up in Frankfort this session yet, but Rep. Koenig said he does plan to file a bill soon. He said he’s been talking to other lawmakers to get a feel of how it would be received.

“I’m always having conversations with legislators on this topic, and others. I’m hopeful that the vote for historical horse racing machines last year shows people that the push back will be minimal,” Koenig said.

Not everyone is on board. The Family Foundation has voiced opposition before, citing the negative financial impacts it could have on families, and it should pass as a constitutional amendment which would leave it to voters to decide.

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