Kentucky horse racing bill passes senate committee

The bill will now go to the Senate.
The bill will now go to the Senate.

Lawmakers at the state Senate are now set to discuss HHR machines in the next session.

US.- A bill that would allow Historical Horse Racing machines (HHR) to remain legal across Kentucky had received approval from the  Senate Licensing and Occupations Committee.

The proposed legislation will now go to the full Senate, where it is expected to face opposition due to strong anti-gambling sentiment in Kentucky.

However, two lawmakers, Senate president Robert Stivers and Senate majority floor leader Damon Thayer, have advocated the bill.

Supreme Court finds HHRs illegal

Last year, the Kentucky Supreme Court ruled that Kentucky racetracks’ popular Historical Horse Racing machines (HHR) were illegal in a 7-0 vote, a decision that would have a detrimental effect on the state’s two-billion-dollar gaming industry.

HHR machines work by randomly selecting three past horse races and creating the bettor’s odds based on the selection.

The court made its ruling based on definitions of pari-mutual wagering, in which all bets are pooled together so that bettors are essentially wagering among themselves.

The decision came after a difficult year for gaming in the state. The Kentucky Derby’s wagering handle was down by 49.8 per cent from 2019 and its lowest handle in 18 years.

However, an extension on the use of the machines was granted and legislators hope to use the extension to define the machines as part of the state’s petmitted gaming options.

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