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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

KY Gaming Bill Passes Committee After Revision

The Kentucky Senate's State and Local Government Committee on Wednesday voted 7-4 in favor of Senate Bill 151, a constitutional amendment that would put a question on the November ballot authorizing up to seven casinos in the state. The bill will be heard next on the Senate floor.

The bill was passed in a revised version. The new version is without one controversial protection for Kentucky’s horse industry but leaves another that some legislators have criticized.  The original bill called for as many as five casinos at horse tracks and as many as two others. The new bill only says that the legislature can authorize up to seven casinos, with none guaranteed for tracks.

The revised bill, however, retains another controversial provision to protect the horse industry. It says no casinos would be allowed within 60 miles of one of the state’s eight tracks.
Gov. Steve Beshear appeared before the committee to testify for the bill, which is sponsored by the committee’s chairman, Sen. Damon Thayer (R-Georgetown).

A constitutional amendment requires three-fifths approval by both legislative chambers — 23 senators and 60 House members — and ratification by voters in the general election.

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