There is new life for the effort to ban gray games in the state of Kentucky. Last week, Rep. Killian Timoney’s bill, HB594, ended up tabled and the future of the bill was in jeopardy. On Wednesday, the bill got new life after it was both resurrected off the table and passed through the House.
Unlike sports betting, which passed out of committee unanimously yesterday, the hearing for gray games was packed to capacity with people lobbying to keep the machines. Rep. Steven Doan has a bill to regulate these machines and was the person who moved to table the bill last week.
After being revived, the bill was called for a vote with little debate on the measure. HB594 passed 64-32 and now moves to the Senate. As local reporter Joe Sonka noted on Twitter, the vote was split 53-25 among GOP lawmakers and 11-7 among Democrats.
“It’s unfortunate that even after so many Kentucky small business owners contacted their legislators about the benefits of skill games, and even after it became clear that many House members were not in favor of voting on this legislation last week, that several lawmakers decided to call HB594 for a vote and pass it today,” Kentucky Merchants and Amusement Coalition head Wes Jackson said in a statement after the vote.
On the flip side, Kentuckians Against Illegal Gambling issued the following statement after the vote:
“We applaud the Kentucky House of Representatives for quickly reconsidering and passing House Bill 594 to ban illegal gray machines. This was