Casino Gambling Ban to Remain in Kentucky

by Kyle Miller

KentuckyLawmakers are not interested currently in trying to life a casino gambling ban in the state of Kentucky.

The United States is a melting pot of cultures and nationalities, a place where you have the freedom to do or be anything you wish. As far as gambling is concerned, this melting pot philosophy still applies. Across the nation, you will find one state offers different gaming options than the next, with some providing online options while others opt for only the lottery or no gaming at all. Talk of introducing Las Vegas style casino gaming in the state of Kentucky has been considered, but for now it seems that lawmakers are not prepared to make any changes.

No Casinos for Us

Kentucky is currently struggling to close a budget gap and need to find additional funds in order to solve an issue with the public pension debt. The state has continued to be against gambling options but many states use the industry as a way to bring in much-needed funds. According to a recent report by Kentucky Today, lawmakers are not interested in casino gaming and don’t even want to discuss the matter.

Reports had surfaced that casino gambling was on the table in order for the state to be able to bring in more funds. However, this is apparently not the case. Lawmakers have stated that they have not been discussing casino gambling and the sources needed for additional revenues will consist of Las Vegas style gambling facilities.

In the state, casino gambling is currently listed as an illegal activity. There are no fully operational casinos to be found anywhere in the state. There are gaming venues that have slot machines and racetracks for betting but no venue is located in Kentucky that offers table gaming options.

While some lawmakers have denied the discussions of casino gaming as a way to bring in money to the state, others have said that internal discussions have taken place on the matter, but no official talks have been conducted. In the past, any type of gambling expansion for the state has been voted down by lawmakers. Earlier this year a bill was introduced for fantasy football and it was unable to gain any ground.

One Expansion Planned

While the government does not have plans to expand upon what is offered in regards to gambling for Kentucky, there is one expansion planned within the industry. The Churchill Downs Racetrack announced earlier this year that they plan to spend $60 million to create a separate gaming machine parlor for their brand. The new venue will include 650 machines and be 85,000 square feet in size.

However, the owners of the racetrack cannot proceed unless they are given all approvals to move forward. Reportedly, the green light was given by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission but additional approvals are needed to being construction of the new facility.

Churchill Downs is one facility that would love to see full-scale casino gaming offered in the state. For a long time now, the venue has been trying to see their state move forward and begin to offer full-fledged gaming. They want to offer table games but lawmakers have continued to refuse to discuss the matter which means there will be no moving forward with more gaming if no changes are made to the law.

It’s interesting to see that talk has surfaced that casino gaming would be helpful to the state budget. Several states across the nation use casino gaming and other forms of gambling in order to bring in money that is used for state-run programs, such as education and senior care. Kentucky may want to look at other states and see how they are using the gaming options to create a consistent revenue stream that is helpful to residents.