Beshear talks casinos at Lexington meeting

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) - Gov. Steve Beshear wasted no time pushing his plan for allowing casino gambling in Kentucky.

In a speech Friday at a Kentucky Chamber of Commerce luncheon, Beshear said the state is facing tough financial times ahead. Kentucky, which already allows other forms of gambling, could use the approximately $500 million a year in additional revenues that casinos could bring in, he said.

"I'm going to work very hard to try to convince the legislature to let the people finally make a choice on this issue," Beshear told an audience of about 150 lobbyists, legislators and business people. "Put it on the ballot with a constitutional amendment and let people vote on it next November."

Beshear, who took office this week, campaigned against former Gov. Ernie Fletcher on the issue. Beshear claims the state can take in up to $500 million per year in annual revenue by legalizing casino gambling.

Kentucky, which is home to the Kentucky Derby, already allows gambling in bingo halls and at thoroughbred race horse tracks throughout the state. Beshear, and other local proponents of legalized casino gambling, claim Kentuckians are already crossing borders to gamble millions of dollars in other states.

Currently, Kentucky is facing tight budget times ahead, Beshear, a Democrat, said. The revenue would not be realized in time for the next two-year budget cycle, but would be useful in the future, he said.

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  • by Hoosier Location: from Indiana on Dec 19, 2007 at 10:08 AM
    I came from Indiana and as far as the gambling casinos helping with the schools and other things there was no difference. I know what was promised to the voters, but come on has a politician lived up to what they have said yet.The folks up North are still waitng, most of the money that comes in goes back to the finacial backers of the casinos and the made up bills that it goes to. So if this is voted in don't look for the schools to benefit from it. This is not going to be any different than the empty promise of the Lottery benefitting the schools.I will almost bet that the only change you see is the people getting deeper in debt and the bankruptcy average get higher.
  • by Kelly Location: Lex on Dec 19, 2007 at 06:08 AM
    Good one Joey! You hit the nail right on the head. I will be laughing all day over your post.
  • by Joey Location: Lex on Dec 19, 2007 at 05:13 AM
    I am for legalized gambling because as seen in the posts by Jennifer from Lexington and john from ky, we need more money for education. Jennifer thinks the word is "gambil" and john thinks there is such a word as "hafta." Please Governor Beshear, let us gambil so we don't hafta be poor and uneducated...LOL!
  • by Dan Location: Nicholasville on Dec 19, 2007 at 05:13 AM
    This topic has really polarized our state. Remember when Wallace Wilkinson used the lottery to get elected way back when? The lottery was going to save the state. Yes, the lottery has been good, but not the financial savior we were lead to believe. If you want casino's in Kentucky, fine. But don't attempt to sell them as anything more than they are...entertainment. By the way, we don't have the "right" to individually vote for every issue that is a hot button. Why do you think we have elected officials? THEY are supposed to vote on behalf of their constituents.
  • by Chris Location: KY on Dec 18, 2007 at 09:42 PM
    What is wrong with a casino? We have gambling all around us: horse tracks, bingo halls, lottery, "casino nights". Personally, I like my odds at Blackjack a lot better than betting on a horse or lottery ticket, not to mention it would be nice to not have to drive 1 1/2 - 2 hours to Indiana every month. One more thing to add to the fire, I'd even like to see a sportsbook in one of these casinos. This would attract a lot of out of state visitors to a KY casino.
  • by Gail Location: Frenchburg on Dec 18, 2007 at 12:58 PM
    To those of you who do not want the casino vote "NO" when it comes time. To those of you who do vote "YES" and talk your family into voting the same way. As for the guy from Irvine having said that we need jobs so that we have money to spend in the casino. Dude there are jobs out there you just need to get off your rusty tail and quit smoking the crack pipe up one of those irvine hollows and get you one! As far as AMC stating what part don't you understand that KY doesn't want a casino... Who are you to say how the rest of the state of KY feels about gambling casino's. I think it would be good for KY. Instead of kentuckians going out of state to blow their cash other out of staters will be coming here to KY to spend theirs! So shut up and let the majority vote just like a good Democratic society would do unlike most other political parties that tell you HOW TO VOTE! It is for the people by the people not for the person by a person. You go Steve Beshears hope to see good things from you.
  • by Estell Location: Leatherwood on Dec 18, 2007 at 07:46 AM
    I am an atheist and I tired of god being shoved down my throat. The christian population needs to understand that they are not the only people on the earth. If you dont want to gamble...dont gamble, I dont want to go to church,so guess what I do......I dont go to church. That easy, problem solved
  • by ben Location: lex on Dec 18, 2007 at 05:46 AM
    I don't like church. So we should outlaws everybody from going to church... cause I have moral qualms with it.
  • by johnny Location: ky on Dec 18, 2007 at 04:11 AM
    it cannot get any fairer than this. steve why are you bashin the libs you get to vote wherth you want it or not.or are you a sore loser because fletcher lost the election.the majority has live with itand vote against it.that is your right
  • by Earwig Location: Prestonsburg on Dec 17, 2007 at 10:19 PM
    Ky. leads the nation in lung cancer due to smoking, drug and alcohol addiction is rampant in Ky. Do we need to try to build an economy on another addictive behavior?
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