Judge Orders Ban on ‘Gray Machines’ to Stay in Place

A Franklin County Judge has ruled in favor of the legislature’s attempt to effectively turn off the video-game-style gambling devices that pepper many Kentucky gas stations and are branded as “gray machines.”

Attorney General Russell Coleman announced the court ruling in favor of the General Assembly’s ban on so-called “gray machines.” The Attorney General’s Office of Civil and Environmental Law defended the legislation’s constitutionality in ARKK Properties v. Coleman, and the court granted summary judgment in the Attorney General’s favor in each of the seven issues presented.

“Our legislators took a bold and bipartisan step to protect Kentucky children and families when they outlawed gray machines. After the law was challenged, our Office launched a vigorous defense of the statute and the General Assembly’s fundamental role as our Commonwealth’s policymaking body,” Coleman said. “The resounding victory in the Franklin Circuit is a testament to the top-flight work of our attorneys, and I’m honored to work alongside them every day.”

In 2023, the General Assembly passed House Bill 594, sponsored by Rep. Killian Timoney and House Speaker David Osborne, to outlaw gray machines.

“Today’s ruling further confirms that these games were illegal and operating without any of the appropriate regulatory guidelines that ensure public safety and integrity,” Osborne said. “I appreciate the Court’s ruling, as well as the work of the Attorney General’s Office in defending the duly enacted laws of our Commonwealth.”

Read the Franklin Circuit Court Order.