Could sports betting be coming to Louisville and southern Indiana?

Could sports betting be coming to Louisville and southern Indiana?

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A ban on sports gambling has been lifted by the nation's highest court.

The prospect of legalized sports betting could be a new revenue source for establishments like Churchill Downs and Horseshoe Southern Indiana.

"All the betting that goes on with horse racing -- to add sports racing would be a really win for Kentucky," Sen. Morgan McGarvey (D-Louisville) said.

Under the Supreme Court's ruling, it is up to states to decide whether betting on sports is legal.

In Kentucky, the gaming industry is strong. Derby Day wagering surged to an all-time high of $225 million in 2018.

"The state should regulate it and collect the revenue from it to fund things like our unfunded pension liability, education, health care, or infrastructure," McGarvey said.

The next step to see sports betting in the commonwealth is getting legislation on the books, McGarvey said.

"When you look at what happened with casinos, it looks like we are about to do the same thing with sport gaming," McGarvey said. "We let the states that surround us adopt it before we do."

In the 2018 legislative session, Senate Bill 22 was filed to allow sports gambling in Kentucky if the court allowed it. The measure didn't make it very far.

Neighboring state West Virginia did pass a similar law.

In Indiana, Attorney General Curtis Hill is in favor of the ruling because he said it limits federal involvement.

The parent company of Horseshoe Casino, Caesars Entertainment, already manages sports wagering in Nevada. It plans to expand wherever states legalize sports betting.

In Kentucky, Republican Sen. Paul Hornback said he is also in favor of the ruling -- but knows not everyone is in favoring of gambling.

"It will always be a hurdle because you have a certain part of the population, and a certain percentage of the legislature that represents those people, that will be against gaming of any kind," Hornback said.

Gov. Bevin's press office did not respond for comment on the ruling. Bevin is one of three governors who signed a brief supporting New Jersey, the state who brought the suit forward that led to the Supreme Court overturning federal law.

Copyright 2018 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.