Expanded Gambling
8:04 am
Thu January 26, 2012

Governor's Gambling Plan to Get Support from Key Senate Republican

Governor Steve Beshear’s proposal for a constitutional amendment to expand gaming could get a big boost soon.

State Senator Damon Thayer, a Republican, says it’s very likely he will sponsor Beshear’s amendment this session. Thayer has been working with Beshear on the gambling issue this session, giving the amendment leverage it hasn't had before.

“I think that’s something I’m considering strongly and has a high probability,' Thayer says. "But there’ll be a time and a place we announce that once I make that decision.”

The issue has been lost amid battles over redistricting and the introduction of  Beshear’s budget. But the gambling issue is a priority of Beshear’s as well.

The Family Foundation does not support expanded gambling and twice this week, the group sent out news releases calling the bill almost dead. Beshear has been coy about whether he has the votes to pass the amendment this session and Thayer admits that getting enough votes will be difficult.

“But I will say that I think it’s going to be close," Thayer says. "I think 23 votes is a big step on a very controversial issue and I do think its close.”

The governor has previously said the amendment could be out any day now.