MP Adam Koenig on the legalization of KY sports activities betting


Kentucky Rep. Adam Koenig.

  • House Bill 241 would legalize sports betting in Kentucky through both land and mobile platforms.
  • Sponsor Adam Koenig hopes his bill will either be passed at this meeting or in 2022.
  • The focus of the Kentucky General Assembly in 2021 is on Historic Horse Racing (HHR), which may not leave much time for discussions on the legalization of sports betting in the shortened session.

FRANKFORT, Ky. Kentucky will hold a shortened legislative term in 2021 and 2021 Representative Adam Koenig, Sponsor of a bill that would legalize sports betting in the state, explains what this could mean for the fate of its legislation.

Koenig sat down with me LegalSportsBetting To discuss sports betting in Kentucky as a legal market and the chances of House Bill 241 receiving this session. No wonder Historic horse racing (HHR) is a top priority in the Kentucky General Assembly this year. This will be the main focus of the legislature and move sports betting into the background.

House Bill 241 and Representative Koenig

House bill 241 is exactly the same as last year, with the exception of date changes to reflect the new year. There is no difference whatsoever between the bill that was passed by the committee last year and the bill that was presented this year.

Sports betting is the largest part of this proposition, although the bill also has the addition of daily fantasy sport (DFS) and Online poker pending legalization, since according to Koenig the justifications of all three sales outlets are one and the same, which is why he summarized them in his proposal.

"We should allow people to make adult choices, and Kentuckians are currently participating in all of these activities, but no one is there to protect them the way a legal industry in the state would," Koenig told LegalSportsBetting. “A state-sanctioned market ensures that everything is done right. I've heard some objections to adding poker to the bill and people have asked for poker to be removed and that may have to be done someday, but the only basis they had for their objections was that it was a game that should be played in a casino that is not online. "

This isn't the first time Koenig has attempted legal sports betting for Kentucky. He's been an industry attorney for a while. But he doesn't think so KY HB 241 will see enough time in the General Assembly this year to get the necessary approvals.

“It is probably less likely than in previous years that House Bill 241 will have a minimum duration this legislature as we have to deal with the historic horse racing (HHR) issue, but if that legislation changes rapidly we can do the Get an opportunity, ”said Koenig. "If we have the support we can get House Bill 241 moving, but in the end, HHR is the main problem in 2021."

There is one under House Bill 241 Retail sports betting tax rate of 9.75% and 14.25% for online and mobile sports betting on all GGR. Companies authorized to operate these platforms are state horse tracks that are already licensed. These are seven potential places for sports betting in Kentucky.

Koenig cited the results of the American Gaming Association That said, gamers in Kentucky collectively spend over $ 2 billion on various gaming outlets. This is in line with the estimate he's made for a legal sports betting industry for the conservative range down to the near-lower end of the spectrum.

“Our estimate of revenue from the legal sports betting market was a conservative estimate of $ 25 million per year. Looking back, people said that was not enough money to make it worth. I wish I had been generous with my estimates of what the industry could bring, rather than adopting my conservative nature with the numbers that have been released but have drawn lessons, ”Koenig said. "I think the sales numbers will be a lot higher, but there is only one real way to find out and that is to settle the bill."

Not only will there be mobile and land-based sports betting, but both professional and college sports will be open to betting. The University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville with huge fan bases it would be possible to put action on their matchups. So much money is lost every year to neighboring states with legal sports betting and other outlets, all of which could add money to the Kentucky economy. However, Koenig doesn't think revenue is really taken into account when discussing the industry.

“If the revenue had been a real driver, the bill would likely have been passed by now, but there is a group called the Family Foundation that are strongly opposed to expanded gambling and have worked very effectively over the years to support efforts to establish one Stopping the expansion of gambling That has left us way behind our neighbors over the years, ”said Koenig.

When asked why he is so passionate about making sports betting a legal market for Kentucky the answer was simple. Yes, there are profits and other things that can be made, but it really comes down to bringing the bluegrass state up to date with other states in the nation while adults can choose for themselves.

“I believe in personal responsibility, adults already do this by using offshore accounts, legally crossing borders with other states, illegally with bookmakers, and I think legalizing sports betting in Kentucky is a good idea because we are setting it up can provide a framework in which Kentuckians can keep their money in Kentucky, have protection in Kentucky, and make adult decisions about how adult adults should be able to do what they do with their money and enjoy their free time, ”Koenig said.

What's next?

The Kentucky General Assembly adjourned the year on March 30th. Governor Andy Beshear advocates legalized gambling at sporting events and Koenig appreciates the governor's support on this matter. It could ultimately help his bill get more favorable votes within the congregation. Should House Bill 241 get a passage, Koenig believes that the legal market for sports betting could start by the end of the year.

“The rules and regulations need to be set and the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (referred to as the regulator in the bill) is very familiar with my desire to get this done. So they should now be at least partially finished with some rules and regulations for the industry have already been worked out so we can probably expect the industry to hopefully be up and running by the end of the year, if not earlier, ”said Koenig.

All in all, Koenig will move on to House Bill 241 and try to get legal sports betting up and running for Kentucky. This year can't see it because of HHR but that won't stop him from trying again in the years to come.

"It's a short session, it's going to be difficult, but the HHR issue will frankly be the biggest change to Kentucky gambling laws since the 1988 constitutional amendment to allow the lottery." After that, people may be more likely to realize that legalizing sports betting is not the end of the world, be it this year or next, and I hope so, ”Koenig said.

News tags: Adam Koenig | American Gaming Association | Andy Beshear | Family Foundation | House bill 241 | Kentucky | Kentucky General Assembly | Kentucky Historic Horse Race | Kentucky Horse Racing Commission | Kentucky Lottery | University of Kentucky | University of Louisville

Christina has been writing for as long as she can remember and doing intensive research on the newly regulated sports betting market. She comes from a family of sports enthusiasts who from time to time make friendship bets. During the winter months, Christina bakes cookies and beats all the staff at Mario Kart … the N64 version, of course.