Kentucky Online Gambling

Say No To Casinos is an educational organization of The Family Trust Foundation of Kentucky, a 501(c)-3 under Internal Revenue Service regulations. All contributions are fully tax-deductible and are used to develop educational materials on the subject of casino gambling and the consequences of allowing casinos to do business in Kentucky.

The Say No To Casinos Campaign

The Say No to Casinos Campaign is a movement of Kentucky citizens who believe the proposed Kentucky Gaming and Revenue plan is a big fat lie aggressively foist upon the state by a handful of race track owners looking to add to their personal profit.

Through research and observation of expansion battles in other states, citizens for, against, or undecided can discover that expanding gambling pitches made by casino owners and supporters are predictable, as is the impact of online gambling on any community. Case by case, the promises of additional revenue are falling through, small businesses close, addictions, crime and abuse increase and families are torn. apart. Futhermore, those making the additional revenue promises are never held accountable.

Kentuckians are being stroked by expansionists with horse-loving schpeels and told that the horse industry needs a multi-million dollar bailout and that the money needs to come from those lower on the economic ladder.

Supporters of online gambling are shameless in their attempts to persuade the public of the false promises they offer. Why? They have millions of dollars at stake, and are willing to say and do almost anything to access their profits. “Keep it in Kentucky” falls in the same category, as they brazenly promote false information related to the impact of casinos. We have nothing financial to gain in relaying the following information, other than the long-term well-being of our Commonwealth, our communities and our families.

Alternatives

As various groups attempt to bribe public entities into supporting ill-conceived plans for slot parlors in Kentucky, it is clear that some local and state government officials are attracted by the false promise of additional revenue. But casinos represent the worse of alternatives for generating governmental revenue because of the huge direct costs of casinos that will be borne by public agencies. Simply improving the state’s debt collection efforts could raise half the money that Big Casino’s lackeys are proposing. Improvements to governmental spending habits can yield even more.

Say No To Casinos believes now is the time for concerned leaders from all business and social sectors to develop the long-term economic reform our state needs, reform of government spending habits, reform of government taxation policies and reform of governmental economic development policies. Working with the best and brightest from large and small business, agriculture, health care, education, the faith community, government and other sectors, we can chart the comprehensive economic plan our state needs to ensure its long-term prosperity.

Such prosperity only comes from the hard work and strong commitment such a plan would require. It sure doesn’t come from casinos. We shouldn’t gamble away our children’s future; we should work hard to protect it.

Say No To Casinos is against expanded casino gambling in our Commonwealth. Click here to see the current legislative bills related to gambling. Please contact your elected officials and let them know that you stand with your fellow Kentuckians in protecting the Commonwealth. Let them know that there is no such thing as voting to “Let the People Decide.” They will either vote FOR casinos or AGAINST casinos.

How do I contact my state representative or state senator?

Mail: Legislative Message Line:
Capitol Annex
Frankfort, KY 40601
800-372-7181 or 877-287-3134 (Spanish)
This line is staffed during the legislative session:
Monday – Thursday: 7:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Friday: 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday

E-mail:
To send a message find your legislator

How do I contact the Governor?

By mail:
700 Capitol Avenue
Suite 100
Frankfort, KY 40601

phone: 502-564-2611
fax: 502-564-2517

Renounce Your KEEP Membership:

Are you appalled that KEEP is using your membership dollars and counting you as a supporter of Casinos? What started off as a well intentioned group of horse owners has now become the mouthpiece of the casino industry, a greed-driven group of lackeys that want higher purses, at any cost. Let them know you don’t like being manipulated.

Is Churchill Downs throwing horsemen under the bus?

Churchill Downs is having its commitment to live racing questioned by some investors and analysts. Here is the Courier-Journal’s report on a conference call where CEO Bob Evans tried to argue that the company isn’t abandoning racing.

Only problem is horsemen are mad at them for the company’s penchant for trying to squeeze horse owners and trainers.

And this is one of the companies that gives lectures to people like myself about how we need more mechanized gambling to support the horse industry. But it’s looking more like mechanized gambling, where there are more profits, isn’t the company’s salvation, but its undoing.

“Lawyers don’t amend the Constitution,” says anti-casino group, “voters amend it”

An anti-casino group opposing a bill to place video slot machines at race tracks said today that it doesn’t think another attorney general’s opinion on the issue is necessary to tell people what they already know. “We certainly have confidence in Jack Conway,” said Martin Cothran, spokesman for Say No Casinos, “but it doesn’t take an attorney general’s opinion to tell us that when people voted for the Lottery in 1988, they weren’t voting in favor of slot machines.”

Cothran made the remarks in the wake of reports that former House Speaker Jody Richards (D-Bowling Green) had requested an attorney general’s opinion from Jack Conway’s office today.

“In Kentucky, lawyers don’t amend the Constitution. Voters amend the Constitution,” he said.

Cothran said that both voters and lawmakers were told in no uncertain terms in 1988 that the Lottery would not include casino-style gambling, and that the idea that the constitutional amendment allows for video slots was a “constitutional fiction” invented by imaginative lawyers.

“We don’t know how Attorney General Conway will rule on this issue,” he said, “but when it comes to Constitution, we prefer non-fiction. We hope he does too.”

Expanded gambling advocates should consider a new slogan: “Let the people be hoodwinked”

Those who have argued against the introduction of casino-style gambling in Kentucky have always pointed to a list of potential casualties that would follow from it. The list not only includes small businesses that operate in areas close to casinos, which would suffer lost business, local communities that would have to increase law enforcement to deal with increased crime, as well as problem gamblers who would have their problem made worse.

But now we can add another potential casualty to the list: the state Constitution.

Last year, proponents of a casino bill talked of “letting the people decide” on the issue, misportraying Kentucky’s Constitutional ratification process as a ballot referendum, a completely different thing. This allows lawmakers to shirk their Constitutional responsibility to vote for a Constitutional amendment because they think it’s a good idea the voters should ratify, rather than wash their hands in regard to the issue itself, and asking the people to do what the Constitution expects them to do themselves.

This year, the casino industry is back with a new and even more self-serving Constitutional fiction: that the Lottery Amendment of 1988 authorized video slot machines. This, of course, will come as news to the Kentuckians who actually voted for the Lottery, none of whom were told they were voting for other kinds of gambling.

But it wouldn’t be the first time a Lottery promise was broken.

For years after the Lottery was passed, many legislators confessed that one of the most frequent questions their constituents asked them was, “Whatever happened to the Lottery money?” When the Lottery was passed, voters were told the money would go to education. Only ten years–and many constituent phone calls–later did the General Assembly attempt to keep the promise.

And, wouldn’t you know it, the backers of the new plan are promising the same thing: the money is going to go for education–and a few other things.

After not doing what they said they were going to do with the Lottery money, they are now going to do what they said they were not going to do with the law itself: use it to justify other forms of gambling.

When asked in 1999 to determine the Constitutional status of placing video slot machines at Kentucky’s racetracks, then Attorney General (now Congressman) Ben Chandler said, “… the Attorney General concludes that courts will not interpret the Constitution to authorize the General Assembly to permit the Kentucky Lottery Corporation to operate video lottery terminals.”

And for good reason.

In fact, every opinion rendered by a Kentucky attorney general on this or a related issue has found the same thing–except one. And that one was written by the sponsor of the video slots legisation: Speaker of the House Greg Stumbo.

In the pamphlet issued by the Legislative Research Commission to Kentucky voters in 1988, it said the state would be adopting a “modern day” state lottery. A modern day state lottery consisted of instant and online games, not video slot machines.

The question of whether the Lottery amendment would include other forms of gambling such as “electronic devices and slot machines” actually came up in the floor debate over the bill when Rep. Louis Johnson introduced an amendment to explicitly prohibit them. But Lottery amendment sponsor Bill Donnermeyer assured Johnson that the Lottery amendment “does not provide for slot machines or anything like that.”

That’s what the voters were told and that’s what the lawmakers who passed the amendment were told. In fact, courts in states where the same bait and switch has been attempted have consistently ruled such laws unconstitutional, including courts in South Dakota, South Carolina, Ohio, Florida, West Virginia, Kansas, and California.

This doesn’t bode well for a piece of legislation that will surely be challenged in court should it pass the General Assembly in a special session.

It is instructive to note that the Lottery Corporation has already tried once to exceed the bounds of the Lottery Amendment. In 1989, it attempted to implement a “Kentucky Sports Lotto.” But the Lottery Corporation backed off when a legal suit was filed arguing that it was unconstitutional.

It is also instructive to note who brought the suit: the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association.

So are lawmakers going to do with the law itself what they did with the Lottery money? Break their promises? If they do, then they can simply change their now abandoned slogan from last year, “Let the people decide,” to an entirely new one:

“Let the people be hoodwinked.”

Expanded gambling forces in State House pushing for action in a special session

Here is the Courier-Journal’s report:

House Speaker Pro Tem Larry Clark, D-Okolona, told WHAS-11 that he wants the House to vote on video lottery terminals at race tracks and put the onus on the Senate to decide whether “to kill a $4 billion industry in the Commonwealth.”
Clark said he and Speaker Greg Stumbo are meeting with Gov. Steve Beshear on Thursday to discuss the issue.
Clark mentioned June 15-30 for a possible special session.

The question is, will House members want to risk their own political reputations by voting for a bill that stands almost no chance of passage in the State Senate.

The poor promise of gambling profits

Advocates of video slots at tracks not only have to contend with the fact that their proposal is unconstitutional, but with the fact that their claims that millions of dollars would be produced for the state and the horse industry simply don’t comport with the real world.

Here is Celeste Hadrick at Newsday on the fall in gambling revenues:

Just as people cut back their spending during the current recession, gamblers have cut back on the dollars they bet.

New York’s drop in horse-race wagering mirrors a general decline in gambling overall throughout the country.

Atlantic City’s 11 casinos reported a 19.4 percent decrease in gambling revenue in March alone, the largest year-over-year decline in the resort’s 31- year gambling history, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported last month.

Even in glitzy Las Vegas, revenue is off 20 percent because of the global recession, news services reported last week.