Committee passes Ky. casino bill in second vote

Updated: February 28, 2008, 1:54 PM ET
By Matt Hegarty | Daily Racing Form

A committee in the Kentucky House of Representatives passed a bill during an unscheduled meeting on Wednesday that would ask voters to approve nine casinos in the state.

The bill passed by a vote of 7-2 one day after the same committee rejected a similar bill. On Tuesday night, the chairman of the committee replaced one of the members who had voted against the bill on Tuesday.

The legislation will now go to the state's full house, where 60 of the 100 members have to approve the bill before it can be sent to the state senate. The senate has indicated so far that it is not willing to pass a bill that allows for expanded gambling in the state.

The bill would ask voters to approve up to nine casinos in the state in a constitutional amendment on the November ballot. Under the bill's language, up to five of the casinos "may" be located at racetracks.

The state's horse racing industry has supported the push for casinos, but officials said on Tuesday that they objected to any language that would make racetracks competitors with casino companies for the nine licenses. Instead, the racing industry has been pushing for language that would reserve a portion of the licenses only for racetracks.

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