expanded gambling

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.

Is now the time for the General Assembly to address expanded gambling? (Again.) With just more than a month before the 2013  session begins, observers of the Kentucky legislature are wondering. A few new factors are at play: First is the governor’s continued interest in the topic. Second expanded gambling's chief opponent, David Williams, is gone.

House Speaker Greg Stumbo is no longer demanding that any legislation calling for a constitutional amendment to legalize gambling in Kentucky start in the Senate. "That line in the sand doesn't have to be drawn anymore," Stumbo told reporters during a Capitol press conference on Thursday. "I don't care if it's a House bill or a Senate bill."

Anti-gambling forces were heartened by an election that ousted a handful of legislative incumbents who had voted for failed casino and slots bills in recent years.

Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear said Wednesday he appointed his chief Republican rival in the Legislature to a judicial post because he was the best qualified applicant for the job, not because getting him out of the way would improve the chances of legalizing casino gambling in the state.

Governor Steve Beshear says he won’t back down on efforts to bring casino gambling to Kentucky, despite another defeat on the issue last week. Since his first term as governor in 2007, Beshear has made expanding gambling his main priority.

This year, he attempted to pass a constitutional amendment dealing with the issue through the state Senate. The bill fell seven votes short of passage in a vote that critics say should be the end of the issue. But Beshear says the vote gave more resolve to the business leaders and horse racing interests who back the idea.

Governor Steve Beshear says he won’t back down on efforts to bring casino gambling to Kentucky, despite another defeat on the issue last week. Since his first term as governor in 2007, Beshear has made expanding gambling a top priority. 

Governor Steve Beshear’s expanded gambling amendment has failed in the state Senate. The measure would have allowed for a public vote on whether to legalize casinos in the state. It fell seven votes short of the 23 it needed to move to the House. The shortfall was due largely to fractures in the Democratic caucus. The bill’s primary sponsor, Republican Senator Damon Thayer, says he’s finished with the issue after nine years of working on it.

Pastors and concerned citizens in Kentucky are taking their fight against expanded gambling directly to the Capitol. Led by the Reverend Hershel York, opponents of Governor Steve Beshear’s gambling amendment flooded Frankfort Tuesday in protest.

Catholic bishops have issued a stern warning about the potential consequences if Kentucky lawmakers approve a proposal to legalize casinos. Catholic Conference of Kentucky executive director Patrick Delahanty distributed a letter to state senators today detailing the concerns of the state's four Bishops who represent some 400,000 parishioners in the state.

Pages