Taking a Stand: No expanded gaming

By J.  Todd Inman from Owensboro, KY

This is a response to Debbie's editorial on expanded gaming at Kentucky horse tracks from Owensboro resident and business owner J. Todd Inman .

OWENSBORO, KY (WFIE) - Last week WFIE General Manager Debbie Bush asked you to take a stand and help save the Kentucky Horse Industry by encouraging lawmakers to approve video lottery terminals at tracks.

Yes, our horse industry needs help to stay competitive.  However, to say video gaming is the only alternative is not only incorrect but also an affront to thousands of Kentuckians who oppose expanded gambling on moral grounds.

Kentucky's Senate President has offered one proposal that would double the amount of purses, making the Commonwealth the highest paying state in the nation.

That is without making us wager the $13 billion video lottery terminals will need every year just to succeed.

Why is this or other alternatives not being considered by the legislature?

Debbie also mentions the potential for 300 new jobs at Ellis Park.

However, Kentucky legislators say they want to re-capture what is currently being spent in neighboring state's casinos, like Casino Aztar.

Thus we would only be moving dollars from Aztar to Ellis Park.

But at what cost? Many Tri-Staters currently working at Aztar.

This is not growth, but merely redistributing of current dollars.

If that's not enough, please consider this final point.

The Kentucky Constitution strictly prohibits expanded gambling without a vote of the people to approve it.

The only guarantee is if video lottery terminals are approved there will be a lengthy court challenge.

This is not only bad policy for Kentucky but a bad bet  for the horse industry we all want to save.