Slots bill to receive hearing on Thursday

After a flurry of attention earlier this session, a bill that would allow video lottery terminals at Kentucky’s horse racetracks is set for another hearing Thursday.

House Speaker Greg Stumbo (LRC photo)

House Speaker Greg Stumbo (LRC photo)

House Speaker Greg Stumbo told reporters this afternoon that the hearing will allow lawmakers to become more educated about House Bill 158, but no vote will be called on the bill in the final days of this year’s session.

“We’ve always said that that bill needed some more vetting,” Stumbo told reporters. “The hearing tomorrow hopefully will bring to light some of the problems and/or facts associated with critical issues in that bill.”

Stumbo didn’t rule out the possibility that the measure could be included in a special legislative session held this summer, but said that decision is Gov. Steve Beshear‘s to make.

The bill is generating more interest late in this year’s legislative session, Stumbo said, and it is one of the things on the table as the General Assembly looks ahead to balancing next fiscal year’s budget.

“It’s being talked about more favorably now than it was in early January,” Stumbo said.

The announcement this week by Ellis Park owner Ron Geary that he may close the Henderson track next year has elicited more interest in the bill, Stumbo said.

“That’s pretty real evidence that this problem that our tracks are having is real and that it’s imminent,” Stumbo said.

The bill will be called during the House Appropriations and Revenue Committee meeting which begins at 10 a.m. EDT.

Update, 5:22 p.m. …

Stumbo will be joined at the meeting by Geary, Nick Nicholson who is president and CEO of Keeneland in Lexington, and the Innovation Group, a national consultant on matters involving the gaming, leisure and hospitality industries, according to Stumbo’s office.


3 Responses

  1. Dear Mr. Geary, Ellis Park plain sucks and will do so even if you get slots. My granny could out run your nags, and granny’s been dead 10 years now.

  2. Well, the truth is . . . we ain’t been telling THE TRUTH, about HORSES. If you did any reading over the week-end you will see that Kentucky is not about to loose its edge in Thoroughbred breeding. As a matter of fact Thoroughbred breeding in Kentucky has risen in the past few years. It all laid in in a very well written and research article by John Chevis, reporter for the Lexington Herald Leader. And it was Chevis who did the research for the writing. And, he pretty much laid out THE PERCEPTION that exist in the Slot Machine dual.

    Facts say . . . It AIN’T AS BAD AS IT HAS BEEN REPORTED. As a factual matter even if you don’t read the entire story. . . . the headlines say it pretty clear. BESHEAR, LOBBYIST, USE DIRE LANUAGE BUT EXAGGERATE PLIGHT.

    In plain language that says the horse industry has manipulated information to make it appear there exist an extreme emergency. When, actually it is not. The real Breeders are holding on but the smaller farms with less significant bloodlines are having some trouble. Welcome to the real world . . . we are all having trouble right now with our expenses. The facts stated in Mr. Chives writing are pretty clear.

    Thoroughbred Breeding in Kentucky has increased from 19% to 31%. Kentucky has been making headway in Thoroughbred Breeding since the early nineties. Now, with 31% of the market for Breeding and an increase from 19% of the market, to over one third of the total breeding market, the figures do not indicate or confirm the convoluted information given by Governor Beshear and Keep. Take the time to read John Chevis article in the Herald . . . it will open your ears and your eyes to the real thing, based on facts, and not perception. REALIZING the Herald Leader is located in the heart of the Horse Business, it would serve the Herald Leader market, much better to have both sides of the issue.

    Well this is the first time the real facts have been know, yet Tom Eglin and Larry Dale Keeling, again remind us of the dire straights the horse industry in in.

    Excuse me . . . but in the good old USA, sports venues are more diversified than ever and with so much SPORTS the spending dollar has been attracted to many other forms of sports entertainment. It was the CASINOS and their floating gambling palaces that started the change. AS more gambling became available individuals split their sports entertainment money on many other forms of sports entertainment. Now, because CASIONOS and floating GAMBLING PALACES, near by, that money, some of it, and no one can tell you exactly how much, is going to places where Casinos gain 85% of their profits from SLOT MACHINES. The tracks would gladly give up the table games for the slots. As slots play on the lower economic scale were individuals are less fortunate . . .

    Now the HORSE people wants in on part of the action. And, they have been successful in expanding in other dumb down states. However, this year INDIANA had to expand SLOTS TO MANY OTHER STRUCTURES because the revenue from gambling is down. Guess what, . . . a lot of other, more serious things, are down right now.

    The administration complains about revenue shortfall, but little is done to pull in the horns of the PORK DISTIBUTORS, members of the General Assembly.This kind of spending has been going on too long. And, someone needs to have the courage to step up to the members of the Assembly and just tell it like it is. All new bills must show the revenue stream to cover the cost of new legislation. If that can not be done . . .then our Governor and General Assembly can cancel the projects and save us some bucks, lots of bucks.

    Don’t be surprised if the EDUCATION PEOPLE are the first to complain. Years ago, we approved a lottery to add a new revenue source for Education. Yet, the cost to administer the LOTTERY is much higher than it should be. Last check of records shows the lottery uses over 65% of its revenue for administration purpose.There is new information out there now, and if citizens will read and think, then perhaps citizens would not be annoyed now, as much as in the past, for a revision of Kentucky Tax structure. The Governor has painted the desperate picture and a lot of citizens take it as PLAIN TRUTH. If the General Assembly is ever going to do TAX REVISON the time is now. As for the HORSES . . . If you good at what you do, you are a survivor. If you feed off of the scraps in an industry, then the first down turn, and your in trouble. Could there be too many thoroughbred horses . . . for the market . . .? Could there be too many tracks? It is a dilemma, but if the Governor’s main priority at his time is money for THE HORSES and bread and water for the citizens.

    Incidentally, the lottery law and expanded gambling has been to the ATTORNEY GENERAL WITH FIVE RULINGS. They all say the same . . . No other forms of gambling may be used by the lottery amendment. Poor old Jack Conway, the burden and the Governor and his Horse People are looking at AG Conway to give them the answer they want, even in light of five other decis0ons that say. . . . NO, NOT, NADA.

    I just wanna say!

    Jim Anderson Stivers

    Frankfort, KY>

  3. Demographis show . . .

    Approximately half of blacks and half of whites play the lottery at least occasionally, but they play the games in various ways. Whites playing the lottery regularly spend an average of $210 a year; while blacks spend an outrageous sum of $998 each per year. That\’s more than double the sum of any other demographic slice, whether classified by age, sex, race, marital status, income, etc. About 25 percent of the heaviest lottery players are Blacks. They make up for 12% on the overall population measure.

    Nuff said.

    Jim Anderson Stivers, Frankfort, KY.

    I see that Mr. Fred Bradley, a HORSE owner with residence in Franklin County has called attention to my OP Ed in the Herald Leader. Fred is a former, County Judge of Franklin County, and State Represenitive and now a wealthy Thoroughbred owner racing in the USA and Saudi Arabia. No wonder that he should try and discredit my postings. He has everyting to gain and very little to loose.

    I stand by all the post of made attributed as factual. Fred, old Buddy, my fathers trusted friend, here is the rely to the lobby for the American Gaming Association. Your distortions are thin and can not be justified as facts. Your displeasure of my constant challenge of the down side of gambling, bothers you so much you must call in the head KAHOONA of Gambling.

    Here is my reply Fred> Read it and weep, cause it\’s true.

    Frank J. Fahrenkopf, Jr. is the USA leader-President and CEO for the American Gaming Association. This is the hired, high priced organization is the mouth piece for Casino Owners and Gambling interest in America. Recently Mr.Fahrenkopf challenged my comments about slots and gambling and according to Fahrenkopf my report is inaccurate.Here they are again. I might add, Earl Grinols is a psychologist and the most trusted name on gambling problems in the USA.

    The 2.1 percent rate of problem gambling for our national study has a 95 percent confidence level, making it unlikely that we found a lower problem gambling rate by chance.\”

    And more:
    According to the numbers, between 30 and 50 percent of the money collected by casinos every year comes from about 4 percent of the population. In other words, explains the study\’s coauthor, Earl Grinols, what keeps the gambling industry going – indeed, what keeps it growing – are the husbands who lay the deeds to their homes on the craps tables and the widows who play their insurance money away in the slot machines. This, opponents argue, makes the gambling industry a wolf among sheep.

    And more
    15 million people display some sign of gambling addiction

    And more
    Two-thirds of the adult population placed some kind of bet last year.
    Gambling profits in casinos are more than $30 billion while lotteries are about 17 billion annually

    \”Players\” with household incomes under $10,000 bet nearly three times as much on lotteries as those with incomes over $50,000
    In 1973 state lotteries had $2 billion in sales. By 1997, the revenues reached $34 billion

    YOUNG PEOPLE . . .

    Gambling among young people is on the increase: 42 percent of 14-year-olds, 49 percent of 15-year-olds, 63 percent of 16-year-olds, 76 percent of 18-year-olds.

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