The efforts to expand gambling are coming from two directions: The Legislature, and the Executive Branch (using the courts).
The gambling industry, using its wealth and influence, is attacking Kentucky on two fronts in order to expand its grip on the finances of Kentucky families. Both of these efforts are coming to a head in 2019, so Kentucky citizens should get involved now.
Expansion through the Executive Branch
First, former Governor Steve Beshear set a gambling court case in motion in 2010. He had his Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, in league with the eight horse tracks, file suit in the Franklin Circuit Court in order to have it authorize “Historical Racing” slot machine-style gambling. The Family Foundation entered the case because, “It smelled a rat.”
The case has had all kinds of shenanigans take place over the last eight years and finally resulted in the judge deciding, last Oct. 24, that pari-mutuel wagering does not have to be “mutual.” (You can wager all by yourself on one of these machines and it is still pari-mutuel . . . and therefore legal.)
The Family Foundation’s attorney, Stan Cave, who figured out each of the numerous deceptive arguments made during the case, has appealed the decision straight to the Kentucky Supreme Court, because that’s where it will ultimately belong. If the Supreme Court takes the case, serious questions should be answered before the end of the year.
One of the startling discoveries made by The Family Foundation, through its Freedom of Information Act inquiries, was the fact that neither the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission nor its overseeing Cabinet (The Public Protection Cabinet) had any research documents or white papers on the impact that the six new “Historical Racing” casinos will have on Kentucky families. That’s terribly strange given it is the “PUBLIC PROTECTION Cabinet” ultimately in charge of this gambling expansion effort. (How is the Cabinet protecting the public?)
It is also why Gov. Bevin needs to address what is going on within his own Administration, his own Executive Branch.
Gambling expansion by the legislature
Secondly, pro-gambling legislators are working to expand gambling to out-of-state sports wagering companies as well as to in-state charitable gaming operations. At least these efforts are being done by the correct body – the General Assembly – which is the people’s branch of government, and the correct one for changes in public policy.
Fortunately, the expansion of gambling has been stopped for years by Kentucky citizens who rose to the occasion and squelched all the gambling money’s efforts with their voices, saying “No expansion of gambling.” This same tactic will work again this year if the people of Kentucky let their voices be heard.
The Bottom Line
Reality is this: In truth, government shouldn’t have the right to give asset “hunting licenses” to a few elite “connected” people, authorizing them to rip-off others. Even if it did, why would it? Citizens need to call and let their voices be heard.
Gambling’s Four Policy Truths
Truth #1: The Family is targeted.
Truth #2: Businesses will lose.
Truth #3: Government will be corrupted.
Truth #4: The Vulnerable will be destroyed.
Therefore, . . . we must make two calls and speak to BOTH the Executive Branch AND the Legislative Branch.
Call 1-502-564-2611 & leave this message with the Governor’s receptionist: “Please, Gov. Bevin, act to stop the ‘Historic Racing’ casinos.”
Call the toll-free Legislative Message Line at 1-800-372-7181 and leave this message for “all the legislators from my county (State Senators and Representatives) and copy this message to Senate President Stivers and House Speaker Osborne”: “Please vote against any gambling bill!” And, “Hold a hearing on the new ‘Historic Racing’ casinos.”