Kentucky Governor Wants Expanded Casino Gambling at Tracks

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
Steven Beshear

Officials from Churchill, Keeneland, Turfway Park and three smaller Kentucky tracks joined forces Wednesday in an effort to get state lawmakers support for approving expanded gambling. 

"For a $4 billion industry and 100,000 jobs on the line, the Kentucky legislature has got to step up and find a way to make this work for us and give us a chance to be competitive," Ellis Park owner Ron Geary said.  

Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear said in a statement that he supports the effort to allow expanded gambling at racetracks. He said the stakes are too high, representing 100,000 jobs and a $4 billion economic impact.

"I don't want Kentucky to be known as the former horse capital of the world," Beshear said.

The move comes just weeks after Churchill Downs was flooded with throngs of people betting on the Kentucky Derby. 

"The Derby has now become the biggest single day betting event in the United States with more wagers coming in than the Super Bowl," says Payton O'Brien of 

Beshear has been especially protective of his state's own gambling revenue.  Late last year, the Kentucky Governor tried unsuccessfully to seize 141 online gambling domain names he claimed were siphoning gaming revenue from Kentucky residents.

"They are leeches to our communities!" the Governor declared.

In a 2-to-1 majority opinion, the court ruled for the Interactive Media Entertainment and Gaming Association (iMEGA) in its suit against Judge Thomas D. Wingate (No. 2008-CA-002000-OA), by blocking the seizure orders issued by the Franklin (KY) circuit court judge for the domain names, all related to Internet gambling (Commonwealth of Kentucky, Franklin Circuit Court, Division II, 08-CI-1409).

While Beshear and his Chicago-based attorneys continue to challenge the Appeals Court ruling, his case is widely seen as lacking in substance. 

Christopher Costigan, Publisher 

Gambling News

Sports Betting News: 'US Gaming Companies Need to Look at Asia',

Sports Betting News: 'US Gaming Companies Need to Look at Asia', Louisiana Bill Doesn't Pass

At 65-27, the tally came up five votes shy of the 70 needed for House Bill 587 to progress.  That bill looks to set up the tax and regulatory structure for sports betting in Louisiana.

Gamblers Claim Illegitimate Decks of Cards Lost Them $250K

Gamblers Claim Illegitimate Decks of Cards Lost Them $250K

Two gamblers have filed a federal lawsuit against a Philadelphia casino claiming they lost $250,000 because of faulty shuffling machines and illegitimate decks of cards.

Is Online Sports Betting Legal in Washington?

Is Online Sports Betting Legal in Washington?

Washington is the only US state that explicitly makes placing an online sports bet a crime.

Can I Bet on Draftkings Sportsbook App From Tennessee

Can I Bet on Draftkings Sportsbook App From Tennessee

You will not be able to bet using the Draftkings sportsbook app from Tennessee at this time.  It remains to be seen whether Draftkings will be available now that the Volunteer State has legalized online sports betting.

Bookies Behaving Badly Part 7: Al Ross Was Bad, His Son Denny Was Worse

This article was originally published in November 2015.  OWN featured a Dateline episode profiling this case on January 2, 2018 at 9 am EST with a rebroadcast expected at Midnight.