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Kentucky Casino Bill Fails in Committee

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February 26, 2008

LEXINGTON, KY - In a 3-5 vote the House Elections, Constitutional Amendments, and Intergovernmental Affairs Committee rejected a bill to ask voters to approve casino gaming licenses for five racetracks. A second bill for nine casino licenses with five for racetracks was considered but not adopted earlier in the meeting.

The bill would require a constitutional amendment. If passed by the committee, it would require 60 percent approval from both the house and senate before placing it on the November ballot for voter approval.

David Switzer, who is the executive director of the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association, said the vote was a setback but hoped a compromise could be negotiated. He said "There's 28 days left in the session, and there's still a possibility that this can be resurrected."

Govenor Steve Beshear proposed twelve casino licenses including seven for racetrack casinos. He said "The entire leadership of the House of Representatives has on numerous occasions publicly and privately committed to me to work in a unified manner in passing a constitutional amendment allowing the issue of limited expanded gaming to be placed on the ballot. Today's actions, as well as inactions evidenced in the Elections and Constitutional Amendments Committee, very clearly demonstrate that House leadership remains deeply divided. I publicly call on them to get their act together quickly. Only with their unified support will this amendment stand a chance of passage."

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