Bluegrass Blues

by Ed Meyer

posted on February 13, 2009 in General Discussion | No Comments >>

For the longest time, alternative gaming has been sought in Kentucky. A state that is known for: Bourbon, Basketball, and Thoroughbreds. Add in the wish for slots to the list, and the landscape could change.

The state is in bad shape. There is a need for mega-bucks to fill the coffers. The people of the Bluegrass State have had enough of taxes, so what is there to do?

Today the state was considering raising taxes on bourbon and cigarettes. They are getting nervous, and the “sin tax” seems to be the logical answer. But bourbon and tobacco are signature items in the state and create jobs, taxes, and products. Taxing the people in this manner is not a fix, but a hit right in the gut.

The answer created by speaker Greg Stumbo was to answer the call with allowing slot machines / VLT’s at the seven race tracks. Why not?  Gambling already exists there, and you would not be taking it to the quickie stop multi-mart stores. You are keeping it in a place that is already houses gaming.

Well, the forces that do not believe in expanding gambling have had a bigger influence than expected. They have turned back the positive swing of the pendulum, and now they are deciding not to have the VLT’s discussed during this session.

Why? Do they want to tax the people? Isn’t the unemployment rate growing? The budget has more holes than swiss cheese. Do they not see the ease of motion that this idea could bring? There are times when one must put away their own ideals and see the bigger picture.

The tell-tale sign is when you see Keeneland (which was voted the #1 track in the nation by H.A.N.A) start to lose money at sales, and has just cut a stakes race. This is only the beginning.

People need to come together now before one of the nation’s signature sports is damaged beyond repair. If you are not a believer, just watch. The next move will be the closing of tracks, the loss of jobs, and loss of revenue.

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