With legalization of casinos off the table in Kentucky, two state representatives are aiming lower as they prepare separate bills to permit slot machines at the state’s horseracing tracks.
One measure drafted by Kentucky Speaker of the House Greg Stumbo (D-Prestonsburg) would allow video slot machines to operate year-round at racetracks, which would be allowed to keep 30 percent of revenues after administrative costs, with the rest going into state coffers. These funds would go toward eliminating the $456.3 million budget shortfall suffered by Kentucky last year. To bring more legislators aboard, the bill also would eliminate state vehicle taxes.
Another measure being drafted by State Rep. Tom Burch (D-Louisville) would enable voters in individual counties to decide if they will allow video lottery terminals in certain locations including, but not limited to, horseracing tracks. The bill would allocate 15 percent of all revenues generated by these machines to state and local governments.
While Churchill Downs Senior Vice President Kevin Flanery endorsed Stumbo’s proposal, executive of some smaller tracks said they preferred Burch’s bill. But State Senate President David Williams (R-Burkesville) said he opposes both bills and will work hard to see that neither is considered by the Senate.