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Group Discusses Casino Gambling

By: Dara Rees Email
By: Dara Rees Email

It's been less than one week since Governor Steve Beshear unveiled his plan for casinos across the state and it remains a hot topic for many groups in the commonwealth.

Many hot button political issues were discussed at a legislative forum at Union College.

They discussed the economy, environment, education and casino gambling.

The featured speaker from the Kentucky Council of Churches says the council has always been a longstanding opponent to gambling expansion in our state.

Some controversial political topics were open for discussion on one local college campus.

“We typically do like to have a variety of positions represented at several different kinds of events that we hold,” Union College Minister, David Miller said.

One topic causing a lot of buzz was casinos.

“The Kentucky Council of Churches and as well as the United Methodist Church, which Union College is affiliated with, has an understanding of gambling in that it is very regressive.. and tends to hurt the poor,” Miller said.

“They are a cannibalistic economic enterprise. That is they take money out of the economy and it's a transfer of money from one set of pockets to another. It does not create anything of lasting value,” Nancy Kemper said.

Kemper says though the state of our economy is grim, casinos are not the answer.

She says there are other ways to generate money Including sales tax on luxury services, like private jets and country clubs and an estate tax for estates worth more than 2 million dollars.

“It's a much fairer system, everybody pays, everybody's involved, and everybody has a stake in it. It can grow as the economy grows,” Kemper said.

Kemper also says a percentage of the gambling profit would leave the state and go to casino owners out of the state.

Governor Beshear wants up to 12 casinos across the state which he says could be the answer to a financial crisis in Kentucky.

Lawmakers and voters must approve the measure first.


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