Nine states legalized sports betting in 2019 to bring the total to 20.

Is Kentucky next? Ohio?

The race is on. Or, at least, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear hopes it is — and he aims to win it.

He didn’t specifically name Ohio, but if Ohio does legalize sports betting and Kentucky doesn’t, that means it will join Indiana and West Virginia as bordering states that allow it.

Beshear said he is “tired of trailing other states” at a Capitol press conference. It’s a battle he’s been fighting for years as an attorney general and now as a governor.

Although there are viable reasons for opposing the bill — including those of the religious variety — we think it’s a bill that should pass.

For some, it enhances entertainment. For a lucky few, it’ll fatten their wallet. Still, for some, it’ll become an addiction — as can many other legal things if one lets it assume control.

It just seems contradictory for Kentucky to allow horseracing gambling, which it’s regulated since 1783, and now open up options for collegiate and professional sports.

Democtratic Rep. Al Gentry brought up a valid point: “Like it or not, residents from every community in the commonwealth are already betting on sports, either illegally through bookies or online, or legally crossing our border.”

That means people who are traveling to gamble are also eating and lodging elsewhere.

Why not keep them — and the money — in the Bluegrass State?

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