After years of defeat, Kentucky lawmakers believe an expanded gambling bill could become law next year. At the Kentucky Chamber’s annual policy day, House Speaker Greg Stumbo and new Senate Majority Floor Leader Damon Thayer discussed the prospects of such a bill in the upcoming session. Both leaders suggested the opposing chamber take up the bill first when they get to Frankfort next month.
Thayer was the sponsor of a Senate gambling bill in this year's session. The measure ultimately failed. But Thayer says the Senate can pass a new bill if the governor pushes hard enough.
Kentucky House Speaker Greg Stumbo is no longer demanding that any legislation calling for a constitutional amendment to legalize gambling start in the Senate. Stumbo told reporters Thursday, "that line in the sand doesn't have to be drawn any longer." Stumbo and Governor Steve Beshear are hopeful that the departure of Senate President David Williams will improve the chances of getting a bill passed.
Illinois Governor Pat Quinn has rejected a plan to expand gambling in the state. Quinn announced his veto yesterday, saying the proposed bill lacked sufficient regulatory oversight. The bill proposed five new casinos, one land-based and four more on riverboats.
The President of Kentucky Downs Racetrack says the expanded gambling issue isn’t going to go away, even after the state Senate rejected a constitutional amendment on the subject last week. Corey Johnson also chairs the Kentucky Equine Education Project. He says gambling revenues in other states continue to lure breeders away from the Commonwealth.
‘It takes human beings to take care of horses so when the horse leave, the jobs go away so it is a very, very..we have hundreds of stallions who have left the state.”
Governor Steve Beshear's constitutional amendment to legalize casinos in Kentucky has cleared its first legislative hurdle.
The bill passed the Senate's State and Local Government committee 7-4 today.
The measure would allow up to seven casinos in Kentucky. But the committee changed the bill, dropping language that requires five of the casinos to be at horse racing tracks. The measure still requires a 60-mile buffer zone between tracks and independent casinos.
After weeks of waiting, Governor Steve Beshear and state Senator Damon Thayer have unveiled their constitutional amendment for expanded gambling.
The amendment allows for up to seven casinos in Kentucky, but five must be at horse racing tracks. The two free-standing casinos cannot be within sixty miles of a track, regardless of whether that track has a casino.
Governor Steve Beshear told business leaders today Kentucky needs to develop more revenue to dig out of the economic recession. He says one way to do that is by passing expanded gambling.
Beshear isn't giving up on an effort to get the public to vote on a constitutional amendment that would allow casinos at Kentucky horse tracks. Now that the filing deadline has passed for state legislative elections, Beshear expects the bill to be introduced in the next few days.