Chips Down: Gov. Beshear Refuses To Fold On Gambling Proposal

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Though the chips may be down, Gov. Steve
Beshear is refusing to give up on his proposal to legalize casinos
in Kentucky.
The Democratic governor, flanked by about 20 House lawmakers,
declared Monday that the casino proposal still is in play.
"It's still an uphill battle," Beshear said. "I don't think
there's any question about that, but it's a battle that we need to
fight, and we need it fight it right now."
Antigambling advocates said they were surprised that Beshear
still is pressing the divisive issue with only eight working days
remaining in the legislative session.
"The last I knew, you don't get a dead horse to move by beating
on it," said the Rev. Nancy Jo Kemper, head of the Kentucky
Council of Churches. "It's not going to get up and trot to the
finish line."
Beshear said casinos could help stave off a projected $900
million financial shortfall and severe cuts in government services.
Allowing casinos to open, then taxing them, could generate some
$600 million in sorely needed state revenue," he said.
"I think it's very clear that Kentucky can certainly use a
substantial amount of recurring revenue of some sort," Beshear
Although Kentucky has a long tradition of wagering at horse
tracks, the state constitution specifically forbids casinos.
Beshear wants lawmakers to approve a constitutional amendment. If
they do, Kentucky voters would get to ratify or reject the
amendment in a ballot referendum.
"It is time that we let the people of Kentucky decide this
issue," Beshear said during a speech Monday in the Capitol
Dave Adkisson, head of the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, urged
lawmakers to approve the casino proposal. He said Kentucky
residents already are spending more than $1 billion a year at
casinos in neighboring states.
"It just doesn't make sense that we would be sending our
dollars, and our citizens with their recreation dollars, across the
border,' Adkisson said.
State Rep. Harry Moberly, D-Richmond, was among those appearing
with the governor to support the casino proposal.
"It is absolutely essential to our children," said Moberly,
chairman of the House Appropriations and Revenue Committee. "It's
essential to our economic development and prosperity and the future
of this state."
John-Mark Hack, head of the antigambling group Say No To
Casinos, said the proposal still doesn't have enough support in the
House or Senate to pass.
"The governor and House leadership are acting like compulsive
gamblers who just can't quit losing," Hack said. "And it seems
now that they're placing a wager on a horse that's clearly
The casino legislation is House Bill 550.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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  • by Bill Location: Whitesburg, KY on Mar 25, 2008 at 02:00 PM
    One can't help but to think that Gov. Beshear recieved campaign contributions from the gambling industry because he just "will not" drop this issue. I think someone should look into this matter further before letting him make decisions on anything. Does his church stand behind him on turning the state of Kentucky over to the mob?
  • by Dean Location: Floyd county on Mar 25, 2008 at 10:38 AM
    I would like to see that picture. If my legislator is standing with him, I WILL NOT vote for him when he is up for re-election. Do you hear that Mr. Stumbo. I have already e-mailed him and told him how I feel and I encourage each of you to do the same. They say that they are there for us so let's band together and see.
  • by Diane Location: Mt.Sterling on Mar 25, 2008 at 07:20 AM
    Oh come now! 900 million? The amount keeps growing as desperation and futility increase. I especially love the comment that it's for our children. Like gambling is going to help all the poor children. Absolutely silly reasoning. With all the gambling we have now in the state we should not have any poor children! There has been lots of studies done and statistics made and gambling does not benefit anyone but the gambling industry. Any tax revenue that is made is needed for services and law enforcement required to clean up the problems gambling generates. Get on with running the state and stop spending tax payer money trying to generate a futile revenue system.
  • by Me! Location: Ky on Mar 25, 2008 at 05:54 AM
    Steve has summed it all up. He said it all and hit the nail on the head!!!!!!!
  • by Bill on Mar 25, 2008 at 05:22 AM
    How dare they defi the great democrat.he wants us taxed to death, and our first born to dedentured,to all boss hoggs.What he needs to do is rid us of about half of the state empolyees,sitting on thier backs sides across the state. We need to stop buying votes with do nothing jobs,for Post Office Democrats.
  • by Mike Location: Harlan on Mar 24, 2008 at 08:19 PM
    So the Governor and his cronies are going to insist that the Legislature spend what little precious time they have left in this session on this albatross that clearly doesn't have enough support to fly. I think I remember reading in the literature of a popular twelve step program that the definition of Insanity is "doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results". Perhaps someone should forward this bit of wisdom to the Governor's Office.
  • by Steve Location: Irvine on Mar 24, 2008 at 08:10 PM
    This is sad, this Governor is going to push these casinos on Kentucky whether the people want them or not. What we all need to do is remember his speeches and all his promises then remember them on the very next election day and keep remembering it from now on every time we cast a ballot. Its time we start looking at politicians public records, their votes, and what they have stood for in the past rather then any of what they have to say while campaigning. If we don’t start paying attention to some current issues we are doomed to high taxes and are simply going to live under the whims of those in office and their supporters. We can all either start standing up and casting votes for people who care about us and our families, or just hand it all over to the politicians and take what ever they decide to hand out.


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