Kentucky’s top Republican lawmaker said pending legislation that would expand gaming across the Commonwealth will need strong, unified support.
Republican Senate President Robert Stivers told a group of Kentucky’s top business leaders this week that if backers of expanded gaming want the issue to finally pass, then they’ll have to present a united front.
“I think that if there is a group that is going to promote it, they’re gonna have to have a consistent voice, and that you can’t have two or three here, two or three there, agreement and disagreement among the tracks, the breeders, the owners, everybody else that’s involved in it," said Stivers. "I just don’t see anything’s gonna be happening much until they define what it’s gonna be.”
Two Louisville lawmakers are leading the charge on expanded gaming for next month’s meeting of the Kentucky General Assembly. Democratic Representative Larry Clark filed a pair of bills last month that would seek to amend the Kentucky constitution to permit casino gambling in the state and allow up to eight casinos, which he says could raise an estimated $286 million in tax revenue. Republican Senator Dan Seum is drafting a bill that would permit casino licenses to be sold across seven regions in Kentucky, with a portion of industry revenue set aside for the state’s horse industry.
The issue has gained support from many groups as a means to shore up revenue in what is expected to be a tight budget season.