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Beshear Says He's Still Shy On Needed Casino Votes

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - A proposal to legalize casino gambling by
amending Kentucky's constitution is still shy of the 60 votes it
needs to clear the state House, Gov. Steve Beshear told reporters
Tuesday.

Beshear acknowledged the proposal, which was one of his top
legislative priorities heading into the 2008 General Assembly
session, is facing an "uphill climb" getting onto the ballot and
before Kentucky voters this November. Nevertheless, Beshear said
the measure has support from at least 50 House members and could
get more.

"We all agree that at the moment we're not there," Beshear
said. "But we're still hopeful that we can come up with the votes
necessary."

In mid-February, Beshear proposed amending the state
constitution to allow up to 12 casinos throughout the state,
including seven at race tracks and five freestanding locations.
Beshear said his proposal could generate $500 million in upfront
license fees and $600 million per year once the casinos are fully
operational.

The additional money could help Kentucky's ailing financial
outlook, Beshear said, at a time when the state is facing a
projected revenue shortfall of about $900 million over the next two
years.

Voters would have the chance to either reject or ratify the
proposed amendment before it took effect.


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