Panel Delays Action on Casino Bill

Panel Delays Action on Casino Bill
Photo: Amanda Duckworth
Gov. Steve Beshear's Kentucky casino legislation faces delays before being voted upon by the state legislature.

Action on recommended revisions to a constitutional amendment to authorize a vote on casino gambling in Kentucky will wait until the week of Feb. 24.

The House Elections, Constitutional Amendments, and Intergovernmental Affairs Committee abruptly adjourned the morning of Feb. 20 after legislators indicated they didn’t have time to consider changes made the previous day by a House subcommittee studying expanded gambling in the state.

There also were concerns over a “24-hour” rule. Soon after the Feb. 20 committee meeting began, members had only minutes to consider the changes, which call for up to nine casinos instead of 12 and no dedicated percentages for state’s share of gaming revenue.

Democratic Rep. Rob Wilkey said he “wants committee members to have more time to look at” the recommendations. Other lawmakers said the recommendations require further study.

Democratic Rep. Darryl Owns, who chairs the committee on constitutional amendments, said the issue would be addressed at the panel’s next regularly scheduled meeting Feb. 26.

The gaming subcommittee proposed major revisions to Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear’s casino bill. The governor’s proposal, unveiled Feb. 14, calls for seven racetrack casinos and five non-track gaming halls; the subcommittee narrowly voted to change that to up to five racetrack casinos and up to four non-track casinos.

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