On March 31, 2023, sports gambling was made legal in Kentucky. This is in large part due to the Supreme Court overturning the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA) in 2018. The legalization of sports gambling is bringing new, excess revenue into Kentucky, raising questions on what to do with the revenue? Through linear regression analysis, Kentucky is expected to earn approximately $23 million dollars in excess revenue. Currently, lawmakers are planning to use the revenue to partially fund state pension plans while saving a small portion (2.5%) to fight problem gambling. Most current research suggests that many states follow similar plans using the excess tax revenue to fund state programs such as lotteries. However, my research decomposes this notion providing a new strategy for utilizing the new excess tax revenue. The excess revenue generated from sports gambling should facilitate economic growth in Kentucky’s Appalachian region, the poorest region in the United States). Kentucky an achieve this by investing in community development projects such as affordable housing initiatives and community care centers. Kentucky can also give subsidies to businesses in the Appalachia region to create more economic opportunity for the people in this region. Overall, Kentucky should allocate excess sports gambling revenue to facilitating economic growth and opportunity in the Appalachian region.

Semester/Year of Award

Fall 2023


Dr. Joel Cormier

Mentor Department Affiliation

Exercise and Sport Science

Access Options

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Honors Scholars

Degree Level