For more than two decades a majority of Kentuckians have wanted the freedom to vote on expanded gaming, and during that same time the legislature has denied us that right while we have horse tracks, lottery, keno, bingo halls, and slots at horse racing facilities legally, plus many forms of illegal gaming.
Over the years the Kentucky Senate leadership has denied the right for the full Senate to vote on a constitutional amendment that would give the people of Kentucky the freedom to vote on fully expanded gaming. Past Senate leadership would talk against gaming and not allow a vote, while at the same time making frequent trips to gaming resorts in Indiana, just across the Ohio River. Which has our Senate leadership been against allowing the gaming vote in Kentucky?
Governor Matt Bevin and Senate leadership are fine with the legal gaming we have now and are open to sports betting in the future, which I applaud. Yet, they overlook all the illegal gaming that is occurring throughout our Commonwealth, but at the same time block respectable casino resorts that can be major tourist destinations within Kentucky. One must wonder, with so many groups against gaming happening in Kentucky — lobbyists from Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and West Virginia, along with members of the underground gaming industry within the state — is there something “fishy” afloat?
As a freedom loving Republican, give us citizens of the Commonwealth of Kentucky the right to vote on the issue.
GARY R. STRATTON