Kentucky bans unregulated skill game machines

"Gray machines are entirely unregulated," governor Andy Beshear said.
"Gray machines are entirely unregulated," governor Andy Beshear said.

Kentucky governor Andy Beshear has signed House Bill 594 into law.

US.- Kentucky governor Andy Beshear has signed House Bill 594 into law after the initiative passed the Senate on a 29-6 vote. The new law bans “gray machines” in the state. While Beshear supports expanded legali gambling, he considers these machines, which have proliferated in stores and bars in the state in recent years, do not comply with current law.

He said: “I think it’s time we had full-blown casinos in Kentucky, but it’s an industry that absolutely has to be regulated and it needs to be legal. Gray machines are entirely unregulated, and I don’t believe they are legal. 

“They came into Kentucky and just set up and were taking dollars from Kentuckians and taking them out of state; with zero regulation, zero taxation, and zero help for those who may develop any issues from using them.”

Opponents of the ban said the bill would hurt the many small businesses that offer the games. Beshear said he empathises with that, but said: “The law is the law.  I hope in the future, whether it’s additional Kentucky Lottery offerings or others, we can do some things to replace some of that revenue and give people options if they want to use their entertainment dollars in this way, but also benefit the commonwealth and that small business owner.”

Kentucky sports betting bill moves forward

The Senate Licensing and Occupations Committee passed HB 551 last week by a vote of 9-1. This was the first step for the bill in the senate after it it was approved by the Kentucky House through a 63-34 vote on Monday (March 13).

The bill was introduced by representative Michael Meredith in February. It would allow retail and online betting on professional and college sports, international sports, e-sports, and video game events. The minimum age would be 18 and the market would be regulated by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission.

HB 551 would create sports betting licences for the nine horse racing tracks in Kentucky. The tracks would be able to open in-person sportsbooks and partner with up to three online sports betting operators.

The proposal would set initial licence fees at $500,000 for tracks and $50,000 for gaming providers. The bill would tax in-person sports betting revenue at 9.75 per cent and online revenue at 14.25 per cent.

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