Ban on ‘gray machines’ gets Senate OK, moves to governor’s desk

Published 11:35 am Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Legislation to ban the slot-like gray machines in Kentucky won passage in the Senate on Tuesday, as did a juvenile justice reform bill on the 25th day of the 30-day legislative session.

House Bill 594, sponsored by Rep. Killian Timoney, R-Lexington, had been approved by the Senate Licensing and Occupations Committee earlier in the day, and since it already had two previous readings, was eligible to be placed in the Orders of the Day for its third and final reading, a floor debate and vote.

It was presented by Sen. Mike Wilson, R-Bowling Green, who said, “My personal interest in this has to do with my veterans in Warren County: the VFW, which had charitable gaming, and also the American Legion Post of which I am a member. They have charitable gaming and rely on that pretty heavily. That supports their building, their expenses, and services they provide to veterans, such as taking them to Nashville for their appointments at the VA Hospital.”

Wilson pointed out that there are three forms of legal gambling in Kentucky: the Kentucky Lottery, charitable gaming, and parimutuel wagering. “This bill explicitly states that machines which operate the way gray machines operate, are illegal, as they fit in to the definition in current law as a gambling device.”

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The measure passed on a 29-6 vote, and now heads to the governor’s desk.