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Last-Minute Casino Gambling Amendment Introduced in the Kentucky House

Just as the deadline for filing new bills was to expire, a bill to amend the Kentucky constitution to allow for casino gambling was introduced Tuesday afternoon in the state House.The bill would require the Kentucky General Assembly to allow and create regulation for casino gambling at no more than seven locations. The revenue, the bill says, would be used "job creation, education, human services, health care, veterans programs, local governments, public safety, and the support of the horse industry; create the Equine Excellence fund of dedication funds from gambling."If passed, the bill would require a statewide referendum before the Kentucky constitution is amended.Reps. David Osborne and Dennis Keene, a Prospect Republican and Wilder Democrat, are sponsoring the legislation,House Bill 443.Hours before it was filed, Gov. Steve Beshear said the casino gaming issue appeared to be dead for 2013, since no bill had been filed. Casino gaming is along-time goalof the governor's, and observers thought the issue had better prospects when Senate President David Williams—the staunchest casino opponent—left office. A recent poll found that a majority of Kentuckians supported expanded gambling.

Joseph Lord is the online managing editor for WFPL.