Instant Wagering Bill Advances In Frankfort

By Tony McVeigh, Kentucky Public Radio

A bill allowing instant wagering in Kentucky on previously conducted horse races has cleared a Senate committee in Frankfort.

Sen. Damon Thayer’s bill would let Kentucky horse tracks install electronic machines that accept wagers on thousands of previously run races. Thayer says the games are not the same as video slots.

“It’s just another form of wagering on horse racing, which is already legal in Kentucky. My position on video slots or electronic games of skill has not changed. It needs to be done via a constitutional amendment to let the people of Kentucky decide,” he said.

Thayer says a small percentage of the money generated by the machines would be used to boost the state’s horse industry. None of the proceeds would benefit the state’s General Fund. The bill passed the State and Local Government Committee, 11-1, with Sen. Mike Reynolds of Bowling Green voting no.