US Regulations Update: Kentucky Seeks to Ban Internet Gaming CafesPublished December 23, 2014 by Elana K
Senator Mike Wilson has filed a new bill that would make internet gaming cafes illegal in Kentucky.
While more and more states are looking for ways to legalize online gambling, Senator Mike Wilson wants to take Kentucky in another direction. Senator Wilson has just pre-filed a bill that would make internet gaming cafes illegal.
Wilson created the bill, BR229, as an amendment to KRS 528.010, which actually facilitates online gambling. The amendment, however, seeks to exclude “electronic device[s] used to facilitate Internet gambling.” BR229 was also introduced as “emergency legislation,” which means that if it is approved, it will not have to wait the requisite 90 days as most bills, but will go into effect immediately.
Wilson commented that online gaming has “taken away the charitable gaming from people like our veterans who are the VFW and the American Legion, which I’m a member there also. As well as, the Knights of Columbus, it’s really hurt them big time.”
The bill, which specifically targets internet gaming cafes, may need future modification to ensure that other parties, such as online horse racing and the state lottery, are not accidentally included in the ban.
History of Opposition
Kentucky has a history of opposition to internet gambling. In 2008, Governor Steve Beshear attempted to seize 141 domain names that were registered to online companies, including sites associated with PokerStars, Full Tilt, DoylesRoom, Bodog, Absolute Poker, UltimateBet and Cake Poker. While the seizures never actually took place, Kentucky’s anti-gambling stance was made clear to everyone.
Given the impending approval of Wilson's new bill, it does not look like Kentucky will be legalizing online poker anytime soon, unlike Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware, the states that pioneered legalized online poker.
Kentucky Poker Players
While the new bill seeks to ban online gambling that takes place in internet cafes, it does not actually criminalize individual online gambling. This means that players who access offshore sites do not have to worry about breaking Kentucky law.