Kentucky Republican leaders call casino gambling proposal 'dead on arrival'

Left: Robert Stivers, Right: Damon Thayer (LRC Public Information)
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - Two powerful Kentucky Republican lawmakers have announced there is "no chance" a casino gambling bill will pass in an upcoming legislative session.

Senate President Robert Stivers, R-Manchester, and Majority Floor Leader Damon Thayer, R-Georgetown, released a joint statement Thursday to attack Attorney General Andy Beshear's position on casino gambling.

“Recently, Andy Beshear has advanced the notion of legalizing land-based casino gambling in our state. This proposal has been sold to the people of Kentucky as a panacea for the Commonwealth’s financial concerns. We want to be abundantly clear, there is absolutely no chance any such effort would pass the Senate in an upcoming session. Any bill proposing casino gambling would be dead on arrival," the statement said.

Andy Beshear, who is the Democratic nominee for governor, has previously stated he would support expanded gambling to bring needed revenue in support of the state's underfunded pension system. Republican Governor Matt Bevin has argued the societal costs outweigh the revenue benefits.

Stivers and Thayer said the bill "will not move in the Senate," and lawmakers will focus on cultivating job opportunities to improve the economy.

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