Senate leaders are sensing little interest in a bill that could legalize casinos in Kentucky and won't consider the issue in the current legislative session.
Senate President Robert Stivers, the Republican from Manchester, said Friday lawmakers would have little time to deal with the issue amid an already heavy agenda that includes shoring up the state's pension system for government retirees.
Despite a long history of wagering on horses, Kentucky has never allowed casinos. And lawmakers have been reluctant to change that in the Bible-belt state, knowing they may face disapproving constituents in future elections.
Gov. Steve Beshear, a leading proponent of casino gambling, said last week that passing casino legislation this year would be unlikely because the proponents were divided on how to proceed.
Gov. Steve Beshear says disagreement among gambling advocates has made it unlikely that the Legislature can pass a constitutional amendment on casinos this year. Beshear told reporters Tuesday that Kentucky's horse racing industry is divided on how to proceed, which has weakened the chances of passing an amendment.
Despite a long history of wagering on horses, Kentucky has a constitutional ban on casino-style gambling. And many lawmakers have been reluctant to vote to change that, knowing they may face disapproving constituents in future elections.
Beshear has argued for years that Kentucky is losing hundreds of millions of dollars a year to neighboring states that already have casinos. He said Kentucky needs to legalize casinos so that money can be kept in the state.