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Rep. Adam Koenig files legislation (HB 175) to fully legalize sports wagering in the Commonwealth


Representative Adam Koenig of Erlanger has filed legislation that would fully legalize sports wagering in the Commonwealth in light of last year’s Supreme Court decision allowing states to legalize the practice.
 
House Bill 175 would legalize sports betting, online poker and fantasy sports. The measure includes betting on both professional and collegiate sports, with an exception for schools within Kentucky.

 

“In light of last year’s Supreme Court decision, it is time that we take the proactive step of providing adults the freedom to legally engage in sports betting,” Rep. Koenig said. “Kentucky has a chance to be ahead of the curve on this issue, while also potentially capitalizing on much-needed revenue gains without raising taxes.”
 
The measure includes safeguards in order to keep the practice within a tight regulatory framework, such as preventing minors from placing bets. Among other regulations, the legislation would allow the state’s racetracks to offer sports betting, both on-site and through a mobile app. In order to download the app, a user would need to go the track to sign up for it.
 
While there is currently not a fiscal note, Koenig has requested a revenue estimate from Legislative Research Commission staff. The bill calls for revenue gains after necessary administrative expenses to be earmarked for the permanent pension fund, with some money also being set aside for addiction services.
 
“By no means do I expect this legislation to produce a massive windfall of revenue into the state coffers that will solve all of our financial problems,” Koenig added. “But with numerous citizens already engaging in betting practices, it is time for the Commonwealth to reap some of that revenue, while also allowing adults the freedom to make their own decisions.”
 
HB 175 requires sports betting to be regulated by the Horse Racing Commission, online poker to be regulated by the state lottery, and for fantasy sports to be regulated by the Public Protection Cabinet. The legislation has been assigned to the House Licensing, Occupations and Administrative Regulations Committee, the committee chaired by Koenig himself.
 
You can view HB 175 in full here.


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One Comment

  1. Bob Boswell says:

    Let’s see, hmmm, WE ARE GOING TO GAMBLE OUR WAY TO PROSPERITY in this country. Sad for the thousands of families devastated every year by the lure of financial gain that is irresistible for many. Greed is a destructive force in any culture. Gambling addiction skyrockets with wide open gambling. Anyone who chooses to look beyond the hype and convenience of using gambling “trickle down” to fund decades of government fiscal mismanagement will find the damage done to children, senior citizens, and marriages far outweigh the advertised benefit.
    Convenient availability of gambling exponentially increases divorce and bankruptcy rates. The very people we profess to want to help, children and Senior Citizens, suffer the most. The only winners are the Operators of legal gambling establishments. The vast majority of the huge windfall from gambling profits leave the community in which they are gambled. The long term effects of this sickness in our country will be devastating. Gambling, as entertainment, is not egregious and limits the consequences, providing there is limited availability to lose money. The history of pari-mutuel wagering in Kentucky limited the opportunity to lose money, which mitigated, but still certainly added to the social problems. Proliferation of gambling exponentially increases the opportunity to lose money. The availability of gambling, which increases the opportunity to lose money, increases the financial burden on government because much of the money that is lost comes from people already on public assistance or from addicted people who financially devastate their families. The impact on children and Seniors is unconscionable, regardless of what other states choose.
    When I was young the answer my parents gave me when I wanted to do something, just “because others were doing it”, was “if your friend wants to jump off the bridge would you?”. Most of the time it is far more noble and beneficial to stand against what others do because of the consequences. This is particularly true when what is being sold to the public as a great way to solve problems actually creates more than it solves. The victims are just not the people with the most to gain from what amounts to a scam on the public.
    I would like to think we are a people that not only give lip service to the serving children, senior citizens, and the poor among us. Let’s not buy the idea that making a few people extremely wealthy at the expense of the disadvantaged and dependent people around us is a good idea.

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