Beshear: Casinos On Hold Until Budget Hammered Out

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - A push to legalize casinos in Kentucky is on hold while lawmakers turn their attention to developing a state budget, Gov. Steve Beshear said Monday.

Beshear also acknowledged that his beleaguered proposal to lift a constitutional ban on casinos could be in trouble.

"I think we'll know by the end of this week or the first of next week where we're going to stand on it, one way or the other," Beshear told reporters at a Capitol press conference.

Although Kentucky has a long tradition of wagering at horse tracks, the constitution specifically forbids casinos. Beshear has been urging lawmakers to approve a constitutional amendment to allow them. If he succeeds, Kentucky voters would get to ratify or reject their decision.

"I think the casino proposal is all but dead," said John-Mark Hack, head of the antigambling group Say No To Casinos. "But we're not in any way declaring any kind of victory because dead things have a weird way of being resuscitated in the Kentucky General Assembly."

Beshear said he hasn't given up on persuading lawmakers to approve the amendment.

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