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Kentucky Governor Wants Expanded Casino Gambling at Tracks

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
May/21/2009
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 Gambling911.com. 

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, Gambling911.com Publisher 

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