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March 6, 2023 2:14pm

Bill banning gray machines considered in KY House

House Bill 594 banning gray machines was heard in committee and considered on the House floor before being tabled on Friday. Sponsored by Rep. Killian Timoney (R-Nicholasville), HB 594 provides clarity around these coin-operated video games with cash payouts that have popped up in gas stations and bars across Kentucky in recent years.

GLI supports HB 594. Gray machines do not contribute to critical education funding that other forms or legal gambling do, like the Kentucky lottery and our signature horse racing industry.

Supporters of HB 594 argue that they are unregulated gambling devices that have skirted Kentucky’s laws and should be banned. However, proponents of gray machines argue they are games of skill which are legal under Kentucky law are advocating for an alternate bill that would instead regulate and tax the thousands of games that have proliferated within the Commonwealth.

The bill includes exceptions for charitable gaming, e-sports competitions, and skill-based contests. Coin-operated amusement machines, like those at Chuck-E-Cheese, along with carnival games would not be banned under this bill.

Similar legislation advanced last year, but failed to pass as the House did not concur with Senate changes before adjournment.