Casino Operator Says Proposed Tax Rate Too High

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Kentucky casinos couldn't compete with existing operations in Indiana under Gov. Steve Beshear's gambling proposal, a casino and hotel operator from northern Kentucky said.

Columbia Sussex Corp. head William Yung III said Friday the new Democratic governor's proposal would not work. Kentucky casinos could not compete with those in Indiana under Beshear's proposed tax rate, Yung said.

"That's totally too high," Yung told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. "That won't work."

Several lawmakers at the Capitol also voiced concerns about Beshear's proposal and predicted it will need a major overhaul to have any chance of survival in the General Assembly.

Beshear, a newly elected Democrat, proposed a casino plan this week that would allow up to 12 casinos across the state. Seven would be at horse tracks and five erected in communities lining Kentucky's borders.

The plan calls for a proposed constitutional amendment, which Kentucky voters could later ratify or reject, and a separate bill that would govern casino operations in the state.

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