A Big Step Forward for Gambling

A step closer

Don’t bet on it yet, but it looks like the Kentucky legislature might actually approve a move to get gaming on a statewide ballot.

Today in Frankfort, despite a heavy turnout of protestors, seven members of the Kentucky Senate had the guts to approve SB 151, meaning gambling legislation will move our of committee and be voted on by the full Senate. It’s the first time a gaming bill has gotten this far, though Gov. Steve Beshear has made it a priority since before he won the governorship in 2007. Beshear says that Kentuckians blew $451 million gambling at out-0f-state casinos.

The only change in the original bill was that the Senate removed the requirement that a set number of casinos be built at racetracks, though it left in place a distance requirement that casinos locate at least 60 miles from tracks. Any casino operation in Louisville would have to be operated by Churchill Downs.

The bill now goes to the full Senate, where it must be approved by 60 percent of the membership.