(Derby City Gaming / Photos by Gene McLean)

SB 120 Update:

The legislative proposal to answer the questions that suddenly surround the legality of Historical Horse Racing machines — which have been operated and promoted in this same Commonwealth for the past 10 years — was passed out of the Kentucky State Senate’s Licensing & Occupations Committee on Thursday morning.

The Bill — known as SB 120 — will now be moved from the Committee to the Senate Floor for full debate, and a likely vote on the measure next week.

The legislation is being sponsored by Sen. John Schickel, out of Northern Kentucky and the Chairman of the L&O Committee. Prominent members of the Senate — including the Senate President, Sen. Robert Stivers, and the Majority Floor Leader, Sen. Damon Thayer — are co-sponsoring the bill, as well.

Top Democrats in the Senate have vocalized their support of the bill, too, and Gov. Andy Beshear has said that the bill should be passed as quickly and prudently as possible.

Look for the Senate to take up SB 120 early next week, and for the bill to pass out of the Chamber and be moved to the Kentucky House of Representatives very quickly.

HHR in Kentucky has been in operation for the past 10 years. But the Kentucky Supreme Court took up the issue and decided that one machine — which is rarely utilized in the Kentucky market any more — was not pari-mutuel in nature, and thus not permitted under current statutes that do allow for that form of wagering in the Commonwealth.

The Kentucky Supreme Court encouraged the Kentucky General Assembly to take up the measure and pass legislation that specifically addresses this form of gaming.

Despite the efforts of the Kentucky Family Foundation, which continues to lobby that the issue requires at Constitutional Amendment, not one official or legal entity has either confirmed or agreed with that argument. As in? Ever.

In fact, the Kentucky Supreme Court didn’t even opine that was required for authorization and approval.

On Thursday morning, the L&O Committee members overwhelmingly approved the proposed legislation and agreed that the bill should be moved on to the Senate  Floor with “favorable expression” that the measure should pass, as same.

“The Pressbox” will follow this measure every step through the process.

Stay tuned.

For those persons interested in listening to the debate over SB 120, which would give legislative approval and authorize Historical Horse Racing machines in the Commonwealth, is now being heard in the Senate Licensing & Occupations Committee.

If you are interested in watching and listening, go to this link: