Two representatives are considering the expansion of gaming in the state to address public pension shortfall.
US.- Representatives Dennis Keene (D-Wilder) and Rick Rand (D-Bedford) have pre-filed a legislation that would bring millions into Kentucky through a gaming expansion. The legislation wants a constitutional amendment that would allow the state to vote if they want casino options in up to ten facilities.
Representative and House Democratic Caucus Chairman Dennis Keene said: “Casinos are already located along all of Kentucky’s borders and those states are reaping the benefits of additional tax revenues. Kentucky’s lottery gambling is highly successful and by expanding existing gaming venues to allow for casino-type games, we will grow a new revenue source to help us catch up on the pension shortfall.” Local media reported that both Representatives believe that the bill helps the state cover the US$33 billion public pension shortfall.
“Based upon actuarial assumptions, and looking at revenue generated from our neighboring states, this could be a windfall for Kentucky,” said Rep. Rick Rand. “Initial license fees for casinos would generate one-time US$325 million in fees followed by US$236 million annually. That would be a great step in the right direction towards decreasing our pension shortfall,” said former A&R Chairman, Rep. Rick Rand and added that once operational, casino tax revenue could increase to US$500 million.
The legislation establishes that the Kentucky Lottery Corporation would oversee and manage the gaming expansion. Casinos would be limited to four free-standing in precincts that approve the expansion and horse racing tracks that already feature pari-mutuel wagering. The minimum age for people to gamble would be 21.