Report Says Expanded Gambling Could Generate $1.4 Billion

by Devin Katayama on January 17, 2012

A report has been released showing the potential tax revenue, generated income and growth that expanded gaming could bring to the commonwealth. The study, commissioned by the horse racing industry, precedes Gov. Steve Beshear’s proposal for expanded gaming.

Spectrum Gaming Group says eight casinos at horse racing tracks would have an overall economic impact of nearly $1.7 billion the first year, including nearly $1.4 billion in gross gaming revenue. The report touches on potential job growth, saying as many as 11,000 directly related jobs could be created.

It further says casinos would provide a much needed funding source to boost the state’s racing industry. The research firm estimates in 2010 Kentuckians spent over $500 million gambling in other states and says the Commonwealth is losing races and other performance indicators, benefiting states such as Indiana and Pennsylvania that use gaming revenues to support their racing industries.

The report does not include much evidence in the report to support its research leaving a lot of unknowns to be determined if Beshear is able to push expanded gaming legislation through. It also warns that the estimated benefits may vary depending on how expanded gaming laws are written and it assumes additional growth like a London/Corbin casino track would develop.

Beshear expects to introduce a constitutional amendment allowing expanded gambling by the end of the month.

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