Changes could already be coming to Governor Steve Beshear’s proposed gambling amendment. That amendment would allow up to seven casinos in Kentucky, with five of them based at horse racing tracks. House Speaker Greg Stumbo supports expanded gaming in Kentucky, but he still has major questions about the amendment. And Stumbo says those questions will likely lead to changes to the measure if it can pass the state Senate.
“Well just from listening to members talk there’s a number of members who have concerns about giving these constitutional guaranteed licenses to private businesses," he says. "And I think if it’s gonna muster enough support there’s probably gonna gave to be some answer to that question.”
Stumbo's concerns regard regulations and the ability of the casinos to change. Specifically, he wonders whether casinos would be able to include new games that are developed down the road.
“What do you get when you get a license and what does it mean when you have to regulate that license, because you have some institutional basis for having it, who know what might ensure if there was a challenge to a license. To the conduct that was occurring under the license or changing the funding formula. You know no one knows the answer to all that," he says.
Opponents of the amendment are calling it an attack on Kentucky’s constitution and claiming it was not what Beshear promised.
Beshear says he has the votes to get the measure through the Senate, where it has died in previous years. And while the bill isn’t likely in danger if it passes the Senate, Stumbo says he and his colleagues might change the bill to get it through the House.