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Williams: Slots Would Be "Tax On The Poor"

Kentucky Senate President David Williams says allowing slot machines at the state's racetracks would amount to a 'tax on the poor," that would cause more problems than it would solve.The Republican from Burkesville was the speaker at Thursday's Rotary Club of Louisville luncheon.Democratic Governor Steve Beshear and the racing industry have been trying to push a bill through the General Assembly that would allow expanded gambling at horse tracks. The most recent legislation failed to clear a state Senate committee this year.

Williams says the people who are most likely to play slots at Churchill Downs and other tracks are those who can least afford it."It's going to hurt the people in the west end of Louisville. It's going to hurt people in the south end of Louisville, the very areas that you're talking about going into the schools and helping those folks. There are not very many people in Prospect that are going to play those slot machines, there are not very many people that go to the homes where they have Homearama are going to go down there and play those slot machines," Williams said.Officials at Churchill Downs and other Kentucky tracks say slots revenue is critical to their future, as they're unable to compete with facilities in states where casino games allow them to offer higher racing purses.

Rick Howlett was midday host and the host of LPM's weekly talk show, "In Conversation." He was with LPM from 2001-2023 and held many different titles, including Morning Edition host, Assignment Editor and Interim News Director. He died in August 2023. Read a remembrance of Rick here.