Even if casino bill makes it through Senate, it's not necessarily a slam dunk in the House

02/17/2012 07:26 AM

Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear’s constitutional amendment that would allow casino gambling in Kentucky has not immediately won over Democratic House members who will be asked to vote on it if it makes it through the Republican-controlled Senate.

“I really have not made up my mind about it,” said Rep. Darryl Owens, a Louisville Democrat who chairs the House Elections and Constitutional Amendment Committee that is likely to take up the issue if comes to the House.

Owens said he hasn’t yet read the 131-word proposed measure. But he said he does have questions about specifically designating licenses only for horse race tracks.

That was the issue in 2008 when Democratic leaders fought among themselves. It ended up that the issue never made it to the House floor for a vote. One proposal, similar to this year’s version called for up to five licenses available to the tracks and then additional ones for free standing casinos, while another one would have allowed horse tracks to have to compete for five licenses and then another four would be free standing.

Owens, at the time, sided with the latter version. He talked about that and his initial thoughts about this year’s version and its prospects on Thursday’s edition of Pure Politics.


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