House committee approves gambling bill

By Maira Ansari - bio | email
Posted By Mike Dever - email

FRANKFORT, KY (WAVE) - The House Appropriations and Revenue Committee has approved legislation that would allow casino-style gambling at Kentucky horse tracks.

The House budget committee voted 19-9 Thursday afternoon in favor of the measure that would allow video slots at Kentucky tracks.

"I vote yes!" said Rep. John Arnold, (D) 7th District.

[This is ] "twice now that major committee in the house has pretty strongly supported this concept," said House Speaker Greg Stumbo.

House Bill 2, a proposal by Stumbo, would take projected state revenue from video slot machines that would pay for more than $1.3 billion in school and university construction.

"As Gov. Steve Beshear said, this is about jobs and protecting our signature industry," Stumbo said.

But, opponents of the bill say that linking the legislation of video slots at racetracks with school funding is just an attempt to buy votes.

"Many legislators are beginning to see this process is rigged," said David Edmunds with The Family Foundation. "We are calling it slot trot. Because a lot of people don't like this backroom dealing with schools."

"I made that promise at home and gave my word: I vote no," said Rep. Jimmie Lee, (D-25th District).

It's unclear there's enough support for the measure to pass the full House. It could face even tougher opposition in the Senate.

It needs 51 votes in the House, with a vote expected as early as Friday.

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