Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear Jr. has promised to make sports betting legal in the state. The Democratic Gubernatorial hopeful does have a certain level of experience with this issue considering his father, former Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear attempted to do the same during his time in office back in 2015.
Following in His Father's Footsteps
Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear Jr. is trying to follow in his father's footsteps in more ways than one. The Gubernatorial hopeful has promised to legalize sports betting in Kentucky just as his father did in 2015. Beshear Sr. was not successful in his bid but it is believed that should his son win the upcoming state election; he will have more support this time around than his father did.
One major difference between Andy Beshear's promise to make sports betting legal from his father's failed attempt is the surrounding states. Illinois, West Virginia, Indiana and Ohio have all made progress with the legalization process with regards to their sports betting industries. The fact that they all share a border with Kentucky makes it easy to see that Kentucky could potentially be letting millions of dollars flow out of state.
Andy Beshear Jr's Message is Appealing to Public Servants
Residents of Kentucky that want to wager on sports are crossing state lines and spending their money in places like West Virginia and Indiana already. By appealing to the public sector, Beshear will get a lot of support for coming up with a possible solution to the current pension problem in Kentucky.
For more context as to how bad the situation is, Kentucky's public retirement pension plans have accumulated debts of nearly $43 billion dollars. There are a lot of reasons for why the state finds itself in this position but few have found a viable solution. Andy Beshear's message of making sports betting legal comes at the perfect time. Back in December, the Kentucky Supreme Court struck down Kentucky's pension overhaul plan. The plan was championed by Beshear's opponent in the Governor’s race, current Republican Governor Matt Bevin. At the moment, Beshear seems to be the only one with a viable solution.
Imagine the only public school in your community closing for good. With four more years of Matt Bevin, that could be a reality in many counties across Kentucky. @JColemanKY and I will fund our public schools and give teachers a raise. Watch our new ad here: pic.twitter.com/xx9AS6lhdr
— Andy Beshear (@AndyBeshearKY) September 9, 2019
Beshear's Solution to Kentucky's Pension Crisis
This pension crisis affects teachers, police officers, firefighters, EMS, social workers and their families. With that in mind, it's not surprising that Andy Beshear's message is being received a lot more favorably that his father’s. He is also benefiting from his work as Attorney General. He has a very strong record of protecting veterans and back in March he released his plan to expand health care access for Kentucky veterans. His plan to make sports gambling legal in Kentucky includes a plan to use the extra tax revenue to fund health clinics without having to increase local taxes.
All of these things will be music to the ears of voters and gamblers across the state. While those looking to make a wager in Kentucky right now do have the option of going out of state, that isn't convenient for everyone. As far as voters who aren't interested in gambling, common sense might just win out. Even if they don't fully support the idea of making sports betting legal, they must see that residents taking money out of state that could be helping a local crisis is completely illogical.
Matt Bevin Is Extremely Unpopular
None of Andy Beshear's plans can come to fruition if he doesn't win the election. Luckily for him, Matt Bevin is one of the most unpopular Governors in the country. In July, a poll of Kentuckians showed that 56% disapprove of the job Bevin is doing. Only 32% of Kentucky residents said that they approved. Also a statewide poll conducted at the end of August showed that Beshear has a nine-point lead over Bevin. An Andy Beshear win is step one to legalized gambling in Kentucky which hopefully for public servants and gamblers alike happens sooner rather than later.