LEXINGTON, KY — “We won the argument, but lost the fight,” said Martin Cothran, spokesman for The Family Foundation after SB 120, the slots bill, passed the Kentucky House in a close vote. “Logic and common sense won the legal fight in Court, but money and political power won the political fight in the General Assembly.”
“The horse industry won today, but will lose in the future as mechanized gambling eventually pushes it out, and the state loses because it gets a pittance from these machines and supporters of this bill refused to raise the tax rate.”
The Foundation pointed to the fact that many members voted for the bill while at the same time admitting it was a bad bill as they cast their votes. “As one journalist put it, many of the bill’s votes came from legislators who were voting ‘against themselves.’
“Lawmakers voted against themselves just like the industry voted against itself. And when you pass legislation you admit is bad, it’s usually a sign of two things: money and power.”
Cothran also said that although it lost the political fight, the very fact that the legislature had to pass what many admitted was an unconstitutional bill to deal with illegal gambling was proof that The Family Foundation (supported by the Court) was right. “Otherwise, they wouldn’t have thought this bill was necessary.”
The Foundation also said that it was bad for the horse industry itself. “The Kentucky horse industry will rue the day it made common cause with its own competition,” said Cothran.
“We have said all along that this bill would not save the horse industry, but would replace it. Horses are fast, but mechanized gambling is faster–and more profitable. This is why the horse industry asked us to become involved in this fight twenty-six years ago. They then made a deal with the Devil, and it will come back to haunt them. At some point in the future, they will remember that they were right the first time, and then no one will be able to help them.”
“This was a Pyrrhic victory for the horse industry–a win that looks like a win, but is really a loss. It’s a sad day for the horse industry.”