Proposed Casino Bill In Kentucky Stalls

Published on: February 27, 2008 

The Governor of the state of Kentucky has asked the Democratic leaders in the states House of Representatives to hurry up on a proposal that will allow the state to build legalized casinos on the Ohio border.  The bill was to help bring more revenue into the state by allowing legalized gambling within the state but parts of it were scrapped during a session.  Governor Steve Beshear is asking for aid in getting the proposal passed.

Beshear gained his post as Governor last year after campaigning on a platform that was backed by proponents of legalized gambling.  A Democrat himself, he feels that the other party leaders need to come to an agreement on the bill.  He wants to be able to formalize the language that will be presented to voters and added to this year’s ballot for citizen to vote on.  Unfortunately, the bill did not pass the Elections and Constitutional Amendments Committee, making Beshear even more dedicated to getting the bill moving.

The Governor feels that the voters have the right to decide for themselves whether or not they want to have the casinos in the state.  According to Beshear, more than eighty percent of the states citizens have expressed a desire to voice their opinion.  The proposal was a long shot in the first place and having it shot down was a major blow.  It seems that the members of the two political parties could not agree on what the language of the amendment should be, causing it to stall out.

Revisions on Beshear’s proposal’s language included things such as stating ‘no more than nine casinos’ and ‘no more than five may established by horse racing tracks’.  Part of the proposed amendment included adding casinos near the established horse racing tracks in the southern part of the state. Other revisions posed asking the voters to approve casinos that would be run by horse racing associations, which the industry supports due to the protection of the establishment near the tracks.   

The original wording of Beshear’s amendment proposal would have allowed licenses to be issued to all eight of the states race tracks with an additional four to be built along the Ohio/Kentucky border.  Other members of Beshear’s political party even had problems with the amount of casinos that were being proposed, saying that it was too many.  It is believed that the amendment will make it back to the house in one form or another for consideration on the November ballot, but it will take a margin of sixty percent to pass.  No one is holding their breath and it is already being thought of as a dead issue.

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