Kentucky House Votes for Largest Expansion of Predatory Gambling in KY History

FRANKFORT, KY – The Family Foundation regrets the Kentucky House’s decision to pass HB 551, which constitutes a massive expansion of predatory gambling at a time when Kentuckians can least afford it. The 63-34 vote today claimed to “legalize” wagering on sports, including allowing access to sports betting online and on mobile devices.

On the heels of a much-publicized vote to ban gray machines because of legitimate concerns of the proliferation of predatory gambling that harms Kentucky families, it is shocking that the same legislative body would turn around and vote for an even larger expansion of predatory gambling through sports betting.

“The expansion of predatory, government-sponsored gambling in HB 551 is a lose-lose for Kentuckians, especially for children. The social harms of predatory gambling are only amplified with online sports betting on highly addictive phones and tablets. Make no mistake, despite any attempt to protect children from this highly addictive form of gambling, commercialized sports betting harms children and radically changes the way that children view sports by normalizing gambling in all sports,” said David Walls, Executive Director of The Family Foundation.

“After just voting to ensure every gas-station across Kentucky does not become a mini-casino, do pro-gambling advocates in the General Assembly think it is wise to turn every iPhone in Kentucky into a digital casino that kids will inevitably have access to? Kentuckians surely did not elect conservative majorities in the General Assembly to expand predatory gambling when so many pro-family issues still need their attention,” Walls concluded.

The Family Foundation, once again, calls on the Kentucky Senate to ensure that HB 551’s expansion of state-sponsored predatory gambling is not allowed to become law. Kentuckians deserve better from their elected leaders.


The Family Foundation is the leading Christian public policy organization in Kentucky and stands for Kentucky families and the Biblical values that make them strong. Learn more at

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