Local News

Slots Advocates Say They Won't Give Up

Advocates for expanded gambling at Kentucky racetracks say they’ll keep pushing – despite their loss earlier this week in the state Senate, where a committee killed a House-approved proposal to allow slots at tracks. Track officials say they need slots at their facilities to boost purses and compete with tracks in other states.

Patrick Neely with the Kentucky Equine Education Project – or KEEP – says his group is not giving up, and will be back in January.

“Everything is going to be on the table,” says Neely. “Our situation will have not improved in the next six months. So when we come back, I think we’ll be supportive of whatever it takes to put us on a level, competitive playing field.”

Those options could include proposing a constitutional amendment that would have to be approved by voters. Neely says they didn’t consider lobbying for that this year, because ballot measures can only be considered in even-numbered years.

Local News

Borel Joins Push For Slots At Tracks

Kentucky Derby and Preakness winning jockey Calvin Borel has joined the effort to persuade state lawmakers to legalize video gambling machines at the commonwealth’s horse racing tracks.

Borel is being featured in a direct mail campaign and this radio ad sponsored by KEEP, the Kentucky Equine Education Project.   KEEP says Borel is not being paid for his promotional work.

“I see signs every day out there that our industry is in trouble,” Borel says in the ad. “Horses that are here are leaving. If we don’t do something soon, our industry will leave.”

Leaders of Kentucky’s horse tracks say they’re losing business to states that can offer higher purses subsidized by expanded gambling.

KEEP says some the equine industry employs 100,000 people in Kentucky, who have an annual economic impact of $4 billion.

Governor Steve Beshear has included the issue on the call of a special legislative session that begins June 15.

Gambling opponents say the state can find other ways to help the industry without legalizing slots at racetracks.