Kentucky Dems say gambling amendment is a gamble

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December 15, 2011

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear is renewing his push for expanded gambling. He hopes to get a constitutional amendment passed by the Kentucky General Assembly in time to put on the November 6, 2012 ballot.[1]

With strong conservative opposition to gambling, however, some Democrats worry that placing the issue on the ballot will increase conservative turnout in a critical election. In November 2012, all state House seats and half of the Senate seats are up for election.[1]

Church leaders have objected to the move and intend to fight any efforts to expand gambling in Kentucky. Nationally known evangelist Rev. Jeff Fugate said, ""We've got plans in place to fight against it... if legislators are going to vote for it in the majority of districts, they'll be gambling their seat away,"[2]

Beshear, whose 2007 campaign platform included a pledge to expand gambling, hopes the amendment would increase state revenue.[1] Kentucky currently allows betting on horse races, lotteries, and charity games, but not casinos and slot machines.[2]

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