Expanded gambling a winner with two Louisville mayoral candidates

08/03/2010 04:08 PM

LOUISVILLE — Two of the three candidates in the race to become Louisville’s next mayor said they firmly support expanded gambling at Churchill Downs and across the state during a forum by the Greater Louisville Hotel and Lodging Association on Tuesday.

Allowing slot machines at racetracks such as Churchill Downs has been a key focus of Gov. Steve Beshear, but the measure has failed to clear the state legislature. Last year, a state Senate committee voted down a bill to allow slots at tracks.

But each of the three mayoral candidates at least said they would be open to the concept and two whole-heartedly endorsed it. Democratic candidate Greg Fischer and independent candidate Jackie Green offered strong support for expanded gambling when asked if they would vote for a constitutional amendment to allow slots or other expanded gambling.

Green, citing that parimutuel betting is already gambling, said he was “for” the measure, asking, “What’s the big deal?”

Fischer also touted the effects that revenue from expanded gambling would have, saying it could boost money to social services, police and local schools, in addition to adding jobs.

But the third candidate, Republican Hal Heiner, offered a more nuanced position, saying that if the measure passed, Louisville needs to gain the most.

- Reporting and video produced by Kenny Colston


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