Kentucky Governor approves creation of state problem gambling fund

July 28, 2023
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The fund will receive 2.5% of tax revenue from gaming, a key effort to mitigate concerns of those originally opposed to sports betting's legalization in the state.

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear has approved and signed off on the creation of a problem gambling fund for the state. A portion of the revenue generated from gaming will now be used to help Kentuckians who struggle with gambling addictions.

This fund is reported to have played a significant role in finalizing details surrounding the state’s upcoming sports betting launch. The bill to regulate and legalize sports betting in the Bluegrass State went to Governor Beshear in March, and Kentucky became the 38th US jurisdiction to legalize betting on sports.

Beshear commented on the fund, “It's intended both to provide help to those that are suffering and for the prevention and education side as well. We want to do this as safely as we can, and a bunch of other states have done it, so we're not reinventing the wheel."

Even though this line of funding may not be new, the potential increase of problem gambling in the state was a primary concern for those opposed to legalizing sports betting during legislative sessions.

Senator Whitney Westerfield commented before its legalization, “Ask yourselves, how much money do the people of Kentucky have to lose? There will be people who can't afford to bet, who will bet anyway.''

Studies currently suggest that problem gaming only affects about 1% of the population across the US, and in Kentucky, but such studies are often underfunded themselves.

The new Kentucky law dictates that 2.5% of tax revenue from its legalized sports betting will now aid the problem gambling fund, for which more research can potentially also take place.

The state launch is scheduled for September 7 at retail sports betting locations and September 28 online.


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