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Does Kentucky need slots? You bet!

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By Geoff Hamill

In Kentucky, we have horse racing, and we have the lottery. Sure, those are gambling, but now, some lawmakers want to bring in even more gambling in the form of slot machines.

Do the people of Kentucky want the slot machines? Depends on who you ask.

I’m not a gambler, nor do I want to see Kentucky become a state filled with crime and the other things some opponents of slot machines in the Bluegrass will tell you slots will bring.

What I do want to see is what’s best for our state. With slot machines, we will see money in our state that currently is leaving, and it doesn’t go by itself. It leaves in the pockets of people who want to play slot machines, and they take it to Indiana and other places like Las Vegas or New Jersey that do have legalized slot machines and other gambling. It leaves in the pockets of people who vote.

I’m a Kentucky native, but I have lived in other states, including Maryland. While there, I saw that state’s horse industry begin to struggle as the more competitive horse owners took their best horses to neighboring states to compete for more prize money. That prize money was offered in Delaware and Pennsylvania, two of the neighbotring states that have slots, and also pay out higher prize money for the winners in their racing industry due to the income the states get from slot machines.

I don’t want to see the same thing happen in Kentucky. Whether you gamble or not, as a Kentuckian, you can’t help but be proud to live in the horse capital of the world, and the home of the greatest horse race of all, the Kentucky Derby. We need to keep the racing tradition, as well as the money it generates, strong in our state. The money from horse racing and lottery, whether you like them or not, help fund a lot of good things in this state, and slot machines will, too.

This isn’t a matter of right or wrong, it’s a matter of doing what’s best for Kentucky, and that’s why we elect our officials - to do what is best for us as a state. Gov. Steve Beshear has the right idea. Slot machines are a good bet for Kentucky!