Gambling Industry Looks to Challenge Kentucky Constitution with New Gambling Expansion EffortsJanuary 7, 2020
A new round of efforts aimed at expanding gambling opportunities and challenging the bounds of Kentucky’s constitution is expected to be brought forward by pro-gambling lawmakers in Frankfort during the 2020 legislative session.
While efforts to expand access to gambling are hardly new to our state, this time proponents are expected to focus on bringing the new, largely unregulated world of online and electronic sports machine wagering into the discussion.
Only one problem: the Kentucky Constitution is clear that only parimutuel horse betting, charitable gaming, and the Lottery are legal in our state.
As you may be aware, The Family Foundation (TFF) has been engaged in a lawsuit to halt unconstitutional gambling expansion through so-called “historical racing” gambling devices for ten years now. That case is expected to come to a close before the Kentucky Supreme Court soon, but legislative efforts to expand gambling during this legislative session may undermine the progress made in our lawsuit.
If the Court does not enforce the Constitution and, indirectly, protect residents of the Commonwealth of Kentucky from being taken advantage of by electronic gambling machines, it will have presided over the largest expansion of gambling in our history – and without a single vote of the people or of the General Assembly.
When it comes to the Court, we cannot afford to keep all our proverbial eggs in one basket. That’s exactly why we will need your help this session to ensure that the Kentucky General Assembly does not overstep the constitutional boundaries that exist to protect citizens and legalize use of gambling machines that are not constitutional.
We fully understand that the draw of more state revenue is appealing for many in the legislature, but we stand resolutely behind the principle that government should not be active or complicit in a scheme that allows a handful of people or organizations to rip off their neighbors. If greater revenues are needed in the state budget, they should be attained legally, through the legislative and the public processes, and not filtered through the sieve of a greedy industry that seeks to tax the most poor and vulnerable among us.
The legislative session begins today in Frankfort, and will last for sixty (60) legislative days. This means that proponents of this effort will hit the ground running and we will need supporters and friends to be prepared to step up to the plate with phone calls and emails to legislators.
Please click here if you’d like to be added to our email updates, and click here if you’d like to make a contribution towards defeating this gambling expansion effort, or other anti-family efforts that are sure to come up during the legislative session in Frankfort.
Thank you for your support!