Kentucky Might Finally Start Funding Problem Gambling

  • Kentucky State Representative Al Gentry has filed a bill to regulate problem gambling treatment in Kentucky.
  • Kentucky is one of nine states that does not currently fund problem gambling treatment.
  • The bill is currently in the Committee on Committees, waiting for assignment.

FRANKFORT, Ky. – It’s a harsh truth that gambling can cause problems – and most states in the US that have regulated sports betting or gambling have funded problem gambling treatment programs as a way of attempting to alleviate these issues.

Kentucky is one of nine states that has never funded problem gambling treatment programs, but this could change in the upcoming 2023 Kentucky legislative session.

Kentucky State Representative Al Gentry filed a bill, HB 486, to finally bring problem gambling treatment to Kentucky.

In specific, the bill would allocate a percentage of funds raised on live horse race gambling and historical horse race machines (similar to slots) in Kentucky to problem gambling treatment.

Per the Kentucky Government’s bill summary, the bill would:

“Amend KRS 138.510 to direct an amount equal to 0.1% of all money wagered on live races and historical horse races to be distributed to the Kentucky problem gambling assistance fund, not to exceed $500,000; create new sections of KRS Chapter 230 to establish the Kentucky problem gambling assistance fund and direct the uses of that fund; require tracks licensed by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission to implement programs that promote responsible gaming; establish minimum requirements for responsible gaming programs at tracks.”

The bill was introduced on Tuesday, and is currently in the possession of the Committee on Committees, waiting to be assigned out.

Gentry is generally regarded as the point man of the Democratic Party when it comes to Kentucky gambling regulations.

This is not the first time that Gentry has moved to create such a fund – he reached across party lines to do so last year, although the effort failed.

If Kentucky manages to pass this bill, there will only be eight states remaining who have access to gambling and do not fund problem gambling treatments.

Here’s hoping they get something good done in the KY House of Representatives this year.