LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – The Kentucky Senate handed a invoice Tuesday aimed toward legalizing Kentucky’s 3,625 slot-like historic horse racing machines.
The measure, SB 120, break up the physique’s supermajority Republican caucus, with Republicans counting on the votes of Democrats to get the invoice over the road. That is a rarity within the chamber the place the GOP holds 30 of 38 seats.
Lawmakers engaged in an hour-long debate about whether or not the machines are predatory and the financial ramifications for the dwell horse racing trade in the event that they have been to not act and the state’s six gaming amenities have been pressured to shut.
Kentucky Senate is now taking on SB 120, the invoice to legalize the horse racing pictured right here. #kyga21. First up, an modification by @KyWhitney to take away language that will insulate horse tracks from legal responsibility for the billions $ in wagers already remodeled final 10 years. pic.twitter.com/rSgnFkg4Wu
— Chris Otts (@christopherotts) February 9, 2021
The slot-like gaming machines have been in Kentucky for 10 years, however their legality was referred to as into doubt by the Kentucky Supreme Court docket in a shock resolution in September.
“What this invoice does, it merely clarifies the difficulty as soon as and for all,” mentioned Sen. John Schickel, a Republican from Union, who talked concerning the significance of Turfway Park in his space of northern Kentucky.
Different Republicans weren’t persuaded by predictions of the dwell horse racing trade’s imminent doom with out the income from historic racing, or mentioned the historic racing in itself doesn’t guarantee dwell racing survives.
“Positive, we want each job we will get in Kentucky however at what value?” mentioned Sen. Stephen Meredith, R-Leitchfield. “ … I really feel like I’m nearly being blackmailed.”
“Backed industries don’t final,” mentioned Sen. David Givens, R-Greensburg.
The invoice, an enormous precedence for the horse trade and enterprise teams just like the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, now heads to the Home, the place Republicans additionally maintain a supermajority and its destiny is unsure.
Gov. Andy Beshear applauded the Senate’s transfer Tuesday, saying he would instantly signal the invoice if it makes it to his desk.