Kentucky House Passes Bill To Ban “Gray Games”

  • Gray games are technically games of skill, but functionally similar to slot machines.
  • The bill is expected to pass the Senate by lawmakers.

FRANKFORT, Ky. - The Kentucky House of Representatives has passed a bill to ban so-called “Gray Games” in KY.

What Are Gray Games?

Gray games is a term that generally refers to games that are technically games of skill, but functionally similar to slot machines.

Based on the language in the bill itself, this is done by prevarications around the words "coin-operated amusement machine," "skill," "skill-based contests," and "skill game".

These games are referred to as “gray” because of the gray area in which they operate – technically legal, but not necessarily regulated.

What Is Kentucky Doing?

Kentucky’s House of Representatives is taking action to regulate these gray games by changing the definition of some of the wording in their gambling regulation.

They look to be changing the wording of KRS.528, the resolution that currently governs gambling law in Kentucky, to more fully account for the existence of these machines.

Effectively, if the House Bill becomes law, these gray games will be banned in Kentucky.

What Are Lawmakers Saying?

Rep. Killian Timoney, the lead sponsor of HB 594 is very optimistic about his bill’s chances in the Kentucky Senate.

House speaker David Osborne said that he believes that the Kentucky Senate is “fully committed to passing it as is."

That “as is” point is critical. A similar bill passed the House in 2022, only to fail when the Senate passed a different version that could not get House approval.

This time, there seems to have been more successful coordination between the two houses of the Kentucky Legislature.