Andy Beshear Claims Victory in Kentucky Governor's Race
Big boost for state’s gambling supporters
Democrat Andy Beshear claimed victory in the Kentucky governor’s race on Tuesday, which is positive news for gambling supporters. One of Beshaer’s main running positions was expanding the state’s gambling sector to create revenue for the poorly funded state pensions program.
This victory will see Beshear become leader of the state’s legislature in 2020. He is already the attorney general in Kentucky. Beshear wants an all-out gambling expansion, including legal sports betting and commercial casinos. However, there will still be major obstacles in his way due to the legislature being under Republican control.
His competitor in the race was sitting governor, Republican Matt Bevin. In the latest tally of the votes, Beshear won 49.2% of the total vote in comparison to the 48.8% in favor of Bevin. Political analysts correctly predicted that this would be one of the nation’s closest governor races.
Bevin can still call for a recount, but all signs point toward a victory for Beshear.
A battleground formed over gambling
Gambling expansion was a hot topic during the campaign trail. The candidates also disagreed on major issues like the economy, teacher pay, and healthcare.
Beshear believes that Kentucky is losing significant revenue to nearby states that have legal sports betting and casinos. This includes the likes of Illinois, Indiana, and West Virginia.
Bevin, on the other hand, was completely opposed to any such expansion. He argued that Beshear’s forecasts were not accurate and that associated societal costs would outweigh the financial rewards. He caused massive controversy for talking about alleged daily suicides in Las Vegas casinos without providing any evidence to back up this statement.
Potential for gambling expansion
Republicans in the legislature have strongly opposed gambling expansion. Some notable Republican politicians said that any expansion bills would be ‘dead in the water’ by the time they reached the legislature.
The Democrats will likely be in favor of sports betting legalization and it will have more of a chance among Republicans than casino legalization.
However, the appointment of Beshear is a major victory for pro-gambling proponents. If Bevin was elected to another four-year term, he would have refused to sign any pro-gambling legislation that got through the legislature.