Though the prospects for expanding gambling in Kentucky remain clouded, the racing and breeding industry has settled on a plan for a constitutional amendment to authorize full-scale casino gambling at the state's eight racetracks.
A Kentucky legislator has pre-filed several bills for the 2004 General Assembly session, including one that would authorize electronic gaming devices at racetracks, and another that calls for a constitutional amendment on the subject.
With legislation to authorize racetrack gaming apparently dead during the current legislative session in Kentucky, the racing industry is expected to begin another campaign well before the 2004 session begins.
Kentucky racetrack operators made their case Feb. 21 for the right to operate electronic gaming devices, but the House Appropriations and Revenue Committee postponed action on the legislation pending review of how the state's share of revenue would be spent.
Legislation to authorize electronic gaming devices at Kentucky racetracks was introduced Feb. 18 with a new twist: The tracks have offered to pay hundreds of millions of dollars up front to help the state tackle its lingering budget crisis as long as they get exclusive rights to gaming in the marketplace.
A Kentucky legislator plans to introduce a bill for racetrack-based gaming, but he said the state might have to look to casino gambling at locations other than tracks in the future.
The Kentucky legislature wrapped up most of its business April 2 without considering a bill that would allow the state's eight racetracks to install electronic gaming devices. Though the bill had support in the House, it never got more than a committee endorsement.
- By Tom LaMarra
Legislation to authorize electronic gaming devices at Kentucky's eight racetracks cleared the House Licensing and Occupations Committee by a 9-5 vote March 18 and now heads to the full House. When the bill may be heard, though, remains to be seen.
The House Licensing and Occupations Committee on March 4 heard the pros and cons of legislation that would authorize electronic gaming devices at Kentucky's eight racetracks and create a gaming commission to oversee their operation.
Kentucky horsemen were urged Feb. 27 to participate in a grass-roots campaign to contact legislators and urge them to support legislation that would authorize electronic gaming devices at the state's eight racetracks. The bill was introduced in the House of Representatives Feb. 26.
Legislation that would authorize electronic gaming devices at eight Kentucky racetracks--and presumably generate $1.7 billion in revenue for the state over six years--was introduced in the House of Representatives Feb. 26. The 177-page document is said to have support in the House, but serious hurdles may loom in the Senate.
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