On Expanded Gambling, Beshear Open to Cleaner Amendment

Gov. Steve Beshear is considering multiple options in the efforts to get the General Assembly to support expanded gambling legislation.

A constitutional amendment failed earlier this year in the state Senate -- and a major complaint from critics was that the amendment did too much to protect thoroughbred racing tracks over other businesses. The bill banned casinos from being within 60 miles of a race track, unless the casino was at the track.

Next time around, protections for the horse industry don't have to be specifically written into a constitutional amendment, Beshear said.

“But whether we make sure we help the horse industry in the amendment itself or whether we do it in enabling legislation I think is an open question," Beshear said.

"I think that you can make sure some of the money goes to the horse industry in enabling legislation that is passed after a constitutional amendment is passed."

Beshear said he hasn’t settled yet on a proposal. But he has reached out to other leaders, including Agriculture Commissioner James Comer and House Speaker Greg Stumbo.