Wage Your Bets: It's Time for Kentucky to Open Casinos

By: Vanessa Rogers, Staff Member

Kentucky prides itself on its horsing industry. Will Kentucky's prized possession be able to survive after its neighboring state, Ohio, opens yet another casino?

On March 4, 2013, the Horseshoe Casino opened in Cincinnati, Ohio. Cincinnati's casino is projected to draw about $227 million in gross revenue in its first year,[1] some of which is bound to come from bordering Kentuckians. According to Kentucky's Governor Steve Beshear, "The casino in Cincinnati's good news for Ohio and bad news for Kentucky... Right now we've got thousands of Kentuckians that have been going out of state, and now they'll also be going to Cincinnati to spend their Kentucky money in Ohio, and then Ohio's going to keep the benefits of that."[2] In light of losing potential revenue, Kentucky has one option to sustain its famous horsing industry: fight back and open casinos within its borders.

Despite a long history of gambling on horses, Kentucky has a constitutional ban on casino-style gambling.[3] Since 2007, Beshear has attempted to legalize casinos in Kentucky.[4] His efforts, however, have been met with strong opposition.[5] According to Beshear, the state is losing hundreds of millions of dollars annually to states that have casinos.[6] He encourages Kentucky to legalize casinos in order to keep money in the state to generate cash for Kentucky's horse industry and to increase government revenue.[7] Will Kentucky step up and open casinos within its borders to save its economy and famous horsing industry? Wage your bets.
[1] With fireworks and fanfare, Cincinnati casino now openWLWT.com (March 5, 2013, 7:51 AM), http://www.wlwt.com/news/local-news/cincinnati/With-fireworks-and-fanfare-Cincinnati-casino-now-open/-/13549970/19163578/-/item/1/-/30kn50/-/index.html.
[2] Id.
[3] Roger Alfred, Beshear: Horse Industry Split on Casino AmendmentCourierPress.com (February 5, 2013, 7:28 PM), http://www.courierpress.com/news/2013/feb/05/beshear-horse-industry-split-on-casino-amendment/.
[4] With fireworks and fanfare, Cincinnati casino now open, supra note 1.
[5] Id.
[6] Alfred, supra note 3.
[7] Id.