Reaction to Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear’s Gambling Plans

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Jun/16/2009

(Associated Press) - Reaction to Gov. Steve Beshear's address to a joint session of the Kentucky General Assembly, which convened a special session on Monday to deal with an estimated $1 billion budget shortfall and a plan to legalize video gambling machines, similar to slot machines, at Kentucky's horse tracks:

"Buoyed by cash from gaming, racetracks in other states are using lucrative purses and breeders' incentives to siphon away some of our greatest equine athletes and those who own, breed and train them. If we don't act now, our race tracks face declining status and even the certainty of closure."

- Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear

 

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"We need to talk about the facts, and I think if they will talk about facts and allow all the things to come on the table, that we'll have a different piece of legislation that will come out instead of an expansion of slots."

- Senate President David Williams, R-Burkesville

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"The evidence is compelling. It's overwhelming that if we don't do something, we will probably be credited with overseeing the demise of the Kentucky racing and breeding industry in this state. So it's pretty evident something has to be done. If the consensus is to do the governor's proposal, fine. If it's not, then we'll move to something else."

- House Speaker Greg Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg

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"Let's vote on the bill that's there. The governor said it's time for an up or down vote. Let's have that up or down vote. Let's don't try to sweeten the pot."

- House Minority Floor Leader Jeff Hoover, R-Jamestown

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"I realize that the horse industry is absolutely critical for the state of Kentucky and we need to find some way in which to preserve that critical industry for the state. Whether or not it's some form of the legislation as suggested by him, I don't know at this stage. But I do know that the horse industry is critical."

- State Sen. Julian Carroll, D-Frankfort

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