A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Legislation banning gray machines passed in Senate, now goes to Governor’s desk for signature

By Tom Latek
Kentucky Today

Legislation to ban 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.”

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

Mark Guilfoyle, executive director of Kentuckians Against Illegal Gambling, issued this statement about the bill:

“We commend the Kentucky General Assembly for bringing House Bill 594 across the finish line to protect Kentucky families and communities from the dangers of illegal gray machine gambling. . .We now urge Governor Beshear to swiftly sign HB594 and make it the law of the land.”

(Editor’s note: The juvenile justice bill (HB3) was the third in a series of bills dealing with reforms of the juvenile justice system in Kentucky. It was approved by the Senate 29-7 but will have to return to the House because of changes which the House has to agree to before it is considered to have final action.)

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