Beshear Unveils Slots Bill; Racing Commission Endorses Plan

From Kentucky Public Radio’s Tony McVeigh

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear has unveiled the video slots bill he wants lawmakers to approve in next week’s special legislative session.

The 150-page bill would allow video slots at horse tracks in Kentucky, with oversight by the Kentucky Lottery Corporation.

The tracks would each have to pay an initial application fee of $25,000, plus additional license fees that Governor Beshear says will generate $360 million for the state’s general fund.

The bill also provides several tax breaks that will be balanced by revenues generated by slots. The tax rate on tracks with slots would be 25-percent the first five years and 35-percent thereafter.

Beshear wants lawmakers to address the bill when they return to Frankfort next Monday for a special session on the budget. Senate President David Williams, who personally opposes expanded gambling, says there’s no need for the session.

Meanwhile the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission today unanimously approved a resolution supporting Beshear’s proposal.