Kentucky Looking to Say ‘Yay’ to Online Gambling—Sort of

In what seems to be a positive trend for United States’ gambling, Kentucky is now joining the list of states looking at gambling as a resource to help pull their state out of the recession. Kind of.

Kentucky Governor Steven Beshear is seeking to right his state’s budget, which is $850 million short for the next two fiscal years. Beshear is already speaking as if the revenue from legalizing and regulating interstate gambling will be a definite thing. He’s treating it like it’s the only option available for Kentucky. According to him, the $850 million he would have to cut from other spending would be reduced to $78 million in cuts.

Beshear has been quoted as saying, “[Gambling revenue] will provide a reliable source of income we can use year after year after year to make investments in the institutions and people of this state, to strengthen our efforts to emerge from this recession not shell-shocked and shattered, but ambitious and able.”

Pretty words from a man who is very opposed to online gambling and online casinos—this would include online blackjack. Beshear believes online casinos are “leaches to the state.”

But he’s perfectly okay with gambling face to face. Apparently, playing blackjack in a Kentucky sanctioned casino would be very different from playing in an online casino that is regulated by Kentucky.

Perhaps Beshear should reexamine his stance on online casinos and online gambling like New Jersey and Florida are doing. If it’s revenue for his state that he’s seeking surely he can see the benefit that online gambling being regulated in Kentucky could have for his state.

By regulating face to face gambling within the borders of Kentucky, Beshear would only be making money off of Kentucky residents. But if he were to work with the state’s Legislature to regulate online gambling within Kentucky the potential to reach out and pull in more revenue will increase. Online casinos make playing your favorites, like our favorite blackjack, more accessible. The more accessible it is, the more people will play it.

So perhaps Kentucky should be looking in the direction that New Jersey and Florida are.