Kentucky Senate Passes Largest Expansion of Predatory Gambling in KY History, Kentucky House Passes “Medical” Marijuana

General Assembly Hands Gov. Beshear Key Victories For His Legislative Agenda

FRANKFORT, KY – The Family Foundation regrets the Kentucky Senate’s decision to give final passage to HB 551, which constitutes a massive expansion of predatory gambling at a time when Kentuckians can least afford it. The 25-12 vote today claimed to “legalize” wagering on sports, including allowing access to sports betting online and on mobile devices. The Kentucky Constitution only provides for three forms of gambling: charitable, lottery, and parimutuel.

The Family Foundation also expressed disappointment in the Kentucky House’s decision to give final passage to SB 47. Gov. Andy Beshear (D) had named sports betting and “medical” marijuana as his legislative priorities and is expected to enthusiastically sign both bills into law.

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 the vulnerable from this highly addictive form of gambling, this will harm Kentuckians – including children,” said David Walls, Executive Director of The Family Foundation.

After recently voting to ensure every gas-station across Kentucky does not become a mini-casino, it is extremely troubling that the General Assembly has now voted to turn every cell phone in Kentucky into a digital casino that kids will inevitably have access to. Kentuckians surely did not elect pro-family majorities in the General Assembly to pass Governor Beshear’s legislative agenda to expand predatory gambling and legalize “medical” marijuana. Kentuckians deserve better from their elected leaders,” Walls concluded.


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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