WKU Public Radio News Staff
Expanded Gambling in Kentucky
Fri February 17, 2012
Beshear: I'm Willing to Listen to Ideas About Changing Gambling Bill
Governor Beshear says he’s willing to make changes to his proposed casino gambling amendment in response to complaints from lawmakers. The plan unveiled by Beshear this week would allow up to five casinos at horseracing tracks, and two freestanding casinos in other parts of the state.
But some lawmakers don’t like the provision that would keep those two freestanding facilities from being built within 60 miles of a track. The Courier-Journal reports that would effectively mean that there would be no casino in Louisville unless Churchill Downs got a license, and no casino in the northern Kentucky region across the river from Cincinnati unless it was located at Turfway Park.
The Governor says he understands lawmakers’ concerns about the 60-mile radius, and the potential market monopolies it would create. Still, Beshear didn’t go so far as to say he would drop that part of the amendment.
The Governor also said no decision had been made on a suggestion that all mention of racetracks be dropped from the bill. Some lawmakers say they favor a simpler, shorter amendment that would allow seven casinos anywhere in the state.