Stumbo and Williams at odds on slots at tracks

January 07, 2009 | | Comments 15
Senate President David Williams, R-Burkesville

Senate President David Williams, R-Burkesville

FRANKFORT — Newly elected House Speaker Greg Stumbo is pushing legislation to allow video lottery terminals year-round at horse race tracks, but Senate President David Williams says he opposes any expansion of gambling in the state.

Williams, R-Burkesville, said he sees no sentiment for expanded gambling in the Republican-led Senate and doubts it would pass the Democratic-controlled House.

He even predicted that former House Speaker Jody Richards, who for years opposed expansion of gambling but changed his mind in an unsuccessful bid for governor in 2007, “will return to his Church of Christ roots now” and oppose the measure.

Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg, said VLTs at the tracks could raise $700 million a year for the state when in full operation.

But Williams expressed doubt about that. He said he opposes expanded gambling because it creates too many social illis, it has hurt candidates in Kentucky elections and the state doesn’t have the population to support it.

Williams said he looks forward to working with Stumbo but he would not make expanded gambling his first issue to push if he were the top leader in the House.

Williams’ comments came during a press availability in his Capitol office.

Waiting for him in his outer office were Keeneland President Nick Nicholson, Turfway President Bob Elliston, Keeneland lobbyist Judy Taylor and Turfway lobbyist Ellen Williams.

Nicholson told reporters that he prefers VLTs at the tracks over casinos throughout the state.

–Jack Brammer

Filed Under: David WilliamsFeaturedGreg StumboJody RichardsKY General Assembly

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  1. NRA Proud says:

    I hope Stumbo pushes casinos better than he drives a boat.


  2. IMHO says:

    “Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg, said VLTs at the tracks could raise $700 million a year for the state when in full operation.” I would like to see the supporting documentation for those claims published.

  3. phyre says:

    Say goodbye to Kentucky racing. Pennsylvania has adopted these measures & purses have skyrocketed. Go to you churches & pray for jobs losers.

  4. daniel says:

    Kentuckians will have to lose more than $3 Billion for the State to earn $700 million in revenues as per the math to collect that much tax. Sounds like something the House of Represenatives might consider.?, but not the Senate. Guess where the Casione revenues will go- not to KY owners of Casinos. They will be owned by concerns out of state.

  5. The projected figure is way too high!

    FACT: Casino revenue generates 80% of the operating cost. The cost of court procedures, bankruptcy and crime will increase and government welfare programs will increase.

    What does that cost?

    Can’t fault Nicky N. (Keenland) instead of 100% of the previous projected revenue it appears the figures for this project are even higher than the previous, inaccurate Casino figures.

  6. Thunder Storm says:

    Why fool with casinos and all their problems. Just tax every man woman and child a one time fee of $175 and you will have $700m.

    We will not have to deal with all the after effects and 100% of the money will stay in Kentucky.

    That suggestion is about as stupid as putting casinos in one of the 5 poorest states in the U.S.

  7. open your eyes says:

    well, if we had casino gambling at the racetracks we wouldn’t be one of the poorest states.

  8. Thunder Storm says:

    Yes we would, even poorer because the VTL’s would be available 365 days a year.

    Let me ask you this. How many rich people do you think gamble at these types of facilities?

    They didn’t get rich by gambling but poor people get poorer by gambling and buying lottery tickets

  9. I guess that means expanded gabling is DOA — dead on arrival — this session, and maybe any others, too.

  10. waste of time and money meeting says:

    It appears we are going to be paying for yet another session of “lets see who has the biggest “johnson” and get absolutely nothing accomplished.

    It’s such a disgrace to our founding fathers to see the disgrace our present leaders, both state and national, continue to show. Our present leaders seem to have no morales or concerns for the constitution and show no respect for the very concept of government that was initially put in place to protect the American Citizen. They are out for themselves, the buddy system, lobbyist, anyone that can help them. They pretend to care, but their actions speaks louder than words, and the average hard working citizens are the folks suffering the most.

    Just vote for something, agree on something, please don’t waste another month of our tax dollars for nothing.

    Here’s one suggestion, how about voting on not being pay for this special session? You all are all wealthy enough and can afford it and heaven knows the state is broke….What do ya say?

  11. CCourtney says:

    Again, M.Y.O.B.,You republicans hippocrats have no idea how the other half live. If you look into your welfare system, it’s not like it used to be, they don’t give out checks like they used to, the longest you can draw a check is 2 years, and they make you work doing community service 20 hours a week for a checkof 187.00 ,so how do you think people get welfare. Wake up people, know what you are talking about, and If I want to play a slot machine ,I will somewhere, if it’s Indiana, I will, I am sure they like all these hippocrats over here, I wonder how many of them go to other states, and Vegas, and cruises, and play.Wake up Ky.

  12. Kronik says:

    There would be no need for increased revenue if government would just maintain services on an annual basis rather than expand them to satisfy the pork appetite of elected officials who want to suck up to their constituents and not consider the long-term effects. The only tax that should be increased is the excise tax on cigarettes because it is essentially a use tax on a product that causes $487 million in Medicaid costs for smoking related illnesses annually in Kentucky, which is 100% your tax money. Federal law requires the state to provide medical coverage to these folks. If you want tax relief for yourself and maintenance of government services pivotal to the state’s operations, you’ll support this measure before gambling. In a state where addiction is a chronic problem, I don’t see how gambling could possibly be a good solution.

  13. […] The legislation calls for the Kentucky Lottery to oversee the slot machine-like terminals. Senate President David Williams, R-Burkesville, any expansion of gambling, in part because he believes it creates too many social […]

  14. Bren says:

    “Idiot” maybe YOU are the one who should WAKE UP and MYOB. I know people drawing “welfare” checks and have been for years, and they sure as hell do “NOT” perform “community service”!
    FYI, I am “not” a Republican, and I “know” how the “other half lives.

    Nobody cares where you play slots or whatever.

    Keep fighting David Williams!!!

  15. Bren says:

    THE ONLY TAX THAT SHOULD BE INCREASED IS THE “TAX” ON “ALCOHOL”. Kentucky could probably become one of the “richest” states in the nation!

    I agree 100% “smoking” is not good for anyone; however, I would much rather be around a person smoking than DRINKING. How many people can be “KILLED” at once from “DRINKING” -vs- “SMOKING”. Has anyone ever bothered to do the “statistics” on “DRINKING”? NO!!! Have you ever heard of “spousal abuse…children going hungry…electricity being turned off”, etc. because of one’s “SMOKING”? NO!!! Give me a smoker any day.

    If this “STATE” went after the “DRINKERS” like they have/do the SMOKERS THINK how many “lives” could be saved!!!