Casinos Worry Advocacy Groups

FRANKFORT - Millions of dollars from casino gambling might seem like a good idea for advocates of the poor, disabled and elderly, with public health and human service programs facing deep cuts in state funding, but don't bet on it, reports the Louisville Courier-Journal.

"Obviously the budget cuts are disastrous, and we are anxious to have new revenue," said Sheila Schuster, executive director of the Kentucky Mental Health Coalition.

"But the coalition remains neutral on expanded gambling because of concerns we have for the social costs - compulsive gambling, substance abuse, domestic violence, child abuse," she said.

Children's advocates last week criticized Gov. Steve Beshear for a proposed two-year budget they say doesn't adequately fund the care of abused and neglected children. But they are not embracing casino gambling as a way to remedy the problem, reports the C-J.

Beshear's proposal, unveiled Thursday, calls for a constitutional amendment to allow 12 casinos that could generate roughly $600 million annually for the state. He estimated the licensing fees alone could produce about $500 million in the next fiscal year, which begins July 1.

Bart Baldwin, president of Children's Alliance, an association of private agencies that care for children the state removes from abusive homes, said his organization has not taken a position on the issue, reports the newspaper.

But he noted that problem gambling - Beshear's plan would set aside up to $2 million a year for treatment - can add to stress on families, and "when it totally breaks down, that's when we end up with the kids."

Dick Brown, a spokesman for Beshear, told the Courier-Journal the administration recognizes "some of these groups are going to have their own point of view. We still believe the positive impact will benefit a number of groups."

Copright: The Louisville Courier-Journal

www.courier-journal.com


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by wayne Location: mckee on Feb 20, 2008 at 10:00 AM
    Quit your whining and crying about the casino's guys. We did get to vote on whether or not if there were casino's gonna be built in ky. 'last november'...Let Mr. Beshear pull his term and do what he said he was gonna do. If you dont like the idea of gambling, then dont go to the casino's. plain and simple...If you dont like what kentucky's fixing to become, MOVE OUT!! No ones holding you here.
  • by Catherine Location: Ky on Feb 19, 2008 at 06:33 PM
    Put aside all the emotion of this hot-button issue and go with logic. Does it make sense to try to balance the budget on something as unpredictable as casino revenue? Can we really solve the state's practical problems based on money from an industry that exploits suffering and weakness? And doesn't it bother anybody that the governor's campaign received such a huge contribution from gambling interests? It's difficult for me to imagine he cares about us ordinary people -- his loyalty will be with those big dollar supporters.
  • by Barry Location: Floyd county on Feb 19, 2008 at 05:28 PM
    Yay! Lets bring gambling to Ky.Kentuckians need something else to become addicted to, ya know,like pills,alcohol,and ssi.The governor thinks he knows it all but he don't know jack s***!
  • by Jerry Location: Lex on Feb 19, 2008 at 05:14 PM
    People in Kentucky, and especially David Williams and others like him in Frankfort, can continue to stick their head in the sand over expanded gambling all they want to. However it will have to be addressed, maybe not today, but it will be addressed sooner or later. Because far to much money is at stake. In the meantime people from Kentucky will still flock to the Indiana riverboats, drive down to Mississippi and the good people of of this non-gambling will still leave daily on planes headed to Las Vegas. And as much as Frankfort would like to keep that money home, other states benefit from the gambling, sales taxes, bed taxes and any other money that people spend while in the other states.
  • by c Location: fkt on Feb 19, 2008 at 05:04 PM
    Seems to me that some really think that casinos will bring money into KY. WRONG! The General Assembly will put that any monies into the General Fund & the taxpayers will NEVER see a dime, just like the lottery! The lottery was supposed to help with education, WHERE'S THAT MONEY? It went into the general fund & state government wasted it! The $600 million will NEVER be seen by the average taxpayer! Unless we force the General Assembly to specify where each dollar will go. Gambling is not the answer for KY. People who go to IN to gamble will still go to IN! Just don't look to see any money from the casinos either! We didn't with the lottery & we won't with casinos either!Just put the issue on the ballot & let ALL the people of KY decide on this issue once & for all! It should be our right to vote either for or against casinos!
  • by S Location: ky on Feb 19, 2008 at 03:30 PM
    I dont know what all of the fuss is about.Because it would be cheaper to go to a casino,to gamble than to a store to play,a poker, machine.And at least ky can get tax money from casinos,where poker machines, the store owners dont pay taxes on poker machines money if you think they do come to barbourville, and check the stores out.
  • by Chester Location: KY on Feb 19, 2008 at 03:11 PM
    Me, I agree 100% with you. I know many churches,boosters, firedepartments, etc.that hold bingo night and they make most of their money selling pull tabs. And I know of many church goers that travel to IND. to play at the casinos. If your going to have betting on Horse racing, Lottery, and mostly BINGO..then there is nothing wrong with casinos. NOt to mention the amount of money that people work in these casinos make. Folks the workers in these casinos make big money. dealers, pitboss's,cashiers.... they make good salaries,tips, etc. that is a boost to the economy, not to mention the out of state people that would travel to KY and play. Hotels, Restuarants, gas stations, and other tourist spots would benefit. If everyone is going to slam Casinos....then Someone needs to spearhead an effort to git rid of all BINGO HALLS... I think there is a bigger problem with BINGO than any casino. Go and check out local bingo halls on sat. or Fri. night in your communities..they're everywhere
  • by Me! Location: Ky on Feb 19, 2008 at 05:39 AM
    I have been to Ind. and all the comments below about Ky lis.plates are true. We have people that would travel for gambling into other states at least once a month. Most of the people that go are retired!!These people have worked all their lives and draw their money that they have paid in for years. I consider that their own buisness.As for welfare recp. gambling...I don't see it. Most of them are on drugs and spend their money on pills ect.Church groups need to do more home visits and practice what they preach. I know many church goers that play bingo. But that is just for fun RIGHT? What will be...will be. Let the games begin. I for one will go JUST FOR FUN!!!Each person will answer to God for their own actions. Having "two faces" is as much a sin as gambling.
  • by Joseph Location: KY on Feb 19, 2008 at 04:44 AM
    Gambling is a tax on ignorance (Warren Buffet). People will spend a tremendous amount of money in casinos, money that they would normally spend on buying a refrigerator or new car. Local businesses will suffer because they lose customer dollars to casinos (Donald Trump). Get it straight...there is no reason on earth for any of you to expect for more than one second that just because there are people in casinos, they're going to run into your store, restaurant or bar (Steve Wynn). I didn't do anything wrong! (Steve Beshear after being indicted for ties to the mob and the gaming industry to include kickbacks and money laundering).
  • by Cindy Location: Somerset on Feb 19, 2008 at 04:26 AM
    I dont know why this is a problem. We already have gambling in the for of lottery, horse racing and bingo. Why the big deal now? If you dont want to go to a casino dont go. Who cares if your neighbors do, that is their business.
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