Defeat Comes After Success In Mississippi, Georgia
Legal Sports Report

Kentucky Fantasy Sports Bill Fails In Close Vote

Kentucky DFS
Kentucky became the first state where a fantasy sports bill was defeated in 2017, at the same time legalization efforts took giant steps forward in other states.

The bad news for Kentucky and DFS

The daily fantasy sports industry apparently will not be getting the legal clarity and regulation it desires in the Bluegrass State, at least for now.

The bill there — H 414 — sought to establish a legal footing for paid-entry fantasy sports and regulation of companies offering them, like the biggest DFS operators, DraftKings and FanDuel.

The bill actually garnered a majority of votes in the House — with a 37-36 margin. However, the bill did not reach the 40-vote threshold required to advance to the state Senate. (A bill must be approved by two-fifths of the 100 members in the House.)

The bill went from introduced — making it through two committee votes — to dead in just two weeks.

What’s the legal climate for DFS in Kentucky?

Almost all DFS and season-long operators accept players in Kentucky.

More from bill sponsor, Rep. Adam Koenig, from WAVE3 in Kentucky before Wednesday’s vote:

“The Attorney General of New York one day just declared it illegal in New York, and we don’t want that to happen here,” Rep. Koenig said. “We wanted to be a legislative solution. We didn’t think that was going to happen, but it’s better off to do it this way and to make sure it’s legal.”

There’s not currently any reason to believe that Kentucky would take a similar tack, although a number of state AGs came down against the legality of DFS in 2016.

The importance of DFS legality in Kentucky pales in comparison to states like Texas and Illinois. In those states, the status of DFS under the law is very much in question.

Progress for fantasy sports elsewhere

It was a busy week for bills dealing with fantasy sports:

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Dustin Gouker
- Dustin Gouker has been a sports journalist for more than 15 years, working as a reporter, editor and designer -- including stops at The Washington Post and the D.C. Examiner.