Gaming Bills Still Alive In Frankfort

By Tony McVeigh, Kentucky Public Radio

Time’s running out on the 2010 legislative session, but bills to help Kentucky’s horse industry through expanded gambling remain alive in the House and Senate.

Georgetown Sen. Damon Thayer is still tweaking a bill that would allow expanded gambling at horse tracks, through a constitutional amendment. The bill’s been in committee since early January, but Thayer’s still not ready to throw in the towel.

“I’ve said all along, my two stipulations for anything that moves forward on expansion of gambling is that it has to be done via a constitutional amendment and it must protect the horse industry. And I would add onto that, it also must protect Kentucky from the proliferation from casino-style gambling away from existing racetracks,” Thayer said.

Over in the House, Richmond Rep. Harry Moberly’s trying to build support for a bill allowing electronic games of skill at horse tracks. His bill does not require a constitutional amendment. But both legislators are working against the clock. Only 18 days remain in the 2010 session and lawmakers still need to pass a new biennial state budget.