Let’s be clear on this. Most people in Kentucky won’t really be affected if a few of the state’s racetracks offer slot machines as a way to gamble. It’s one of those issues, like watching certain shows on TV, that you can choose to ignore if you want.
But opponents of slots aren’t going to allow state government to pass slots legislation without a fight. Yesterday, Kent Ostrander of the Family Foundation made the media rounds threatening to sue before the first slot machine is installed at Churchill Downs.
Meanwhile, KEEP is putting on the pressure with a statewide ad campaign. There are dire predictions for the horse racing industry. A forecasting group is expected to announce today that there will a $1 billion state budget deficit. Really dramatic cuts are coming, and they will include layoffs.
The state is running out of options, given the absolute refusal to raise taxes. We’ve been talking about this for 15 years, and haven’t really made any progress. It’s time for the state to do something.