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Kentucky judge keeps ban in place on slots-like ‘gray machines’

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Supporters of a Kentucky law banning slots-like machines scored a legal victory Friday when a judge kept in place a measure to permanently unplug the video games that offered cash payouts and were branded as “gray machines” during legislative debates.

Franklin County Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd rejected claims that the 2023 law violated various sections of the state’s constitution. The judge granted a summary judgment requested by state Attorney General Russell Coleman’s office, meaning he ruled without a full trial on the matter.

In defending the statute, Coleman said Friday that his office argued on behalf of the Legislature’s “fundamental role” as the state’s policymaking body. He praised lawmakers for taking a “bold and bipartisan step to protect Kentucky children and families when they outlawed ‘gray machines.’”

The devices were branded as “gray machines” based on their murky legal status at the time.

Kentucky House Speaker David Osborne said the ruling “further confirms that these games were illegal and operating without any of the appropriate regulatory guidelines.”

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