February 12, 2016

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Most governor candidates open to expanded gaming

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 27, 2003

A clear majority of the leading candidates for governor support at least allowing a referendum on expanded gambling in Kentucky.

Three Republicans and three Democrats competing for the state’s top job participated in the capital city’s first gubernatorial forum of the season at the Farnham Dudgeon Civic Center Wednesday. About 300 people involved in the tourism industry attended.

Every Democratic candidate and one Republican hopeful supported letting voters decide on the issue of lifting the ban on casino gambling by passing a constitutional amendment to be placed on a future ballot. However, two other Republicans, state Sen. Virgil Moore and former Jefferson County Judge-Executive Rebecca Jackson, opposed the idea.

Jackson said that while it might keep Kentucky dollars from going across the river to Indiana casinos, she recalled seeing the problems Jefferson County social services had in trying to take care of the children of gambling-addicted parents.

“Can I live with it?” Jackson asked before talking about the cases of families in poverty from gambling. “That’s where I come down and say no. There needs to be a dedicated source of revenue for tourism and I don’t believe you want it to be this source.”

For more on this story, see the latest State Journal.