By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

There will not be a vote for the people of Kentucky on expanded gaming this year.

The Senate voted a bill down that would've allowed a constitutional amendment to give the people a voice.

It was a 16-21 vote this afternoon well short of the 60 percent needed for a Constitutional amendment. This likely won't come up again this legislative session, but there are some who still think this is a good idea.

Senator Mike Wilson (R) 32nd District of Bowling Green voted against it, a stance he's taken from the beginning.

"From a conscious standpoint, I could not agree to that and recommend to the people for ratification. So it really wasn't a vote to let the people decide, it wasn't about trusting the people to vote or any of that. It was about doing what the constitution says and following the constitution," said Wilson.

But people in surrounding areas supported it and wanted to vote on it.

"You need to understand that they'll bring hotels, restaurants, and everything else in here too. So, it's all good for us. It makes people come in and stay longer here. So, anything like that would be great for us. I'm 100 percent for it," said Franklin business owner Riley Bright.

From a tourist standpoint, Dan Ware of the Simpson County tourism commission says it's tough to tell, but it likely would've meant a positive spike in tourism in Franklin.

"In Mississippi and Indiana the location of a casino has resulted in a bit of a tourist boom in those communities," said Dan Ware, Simpson County Tourism Commission.

Another reason Senator Wilson voted against it was that he said it would actually hurt the economy.

"Our citizens would have to lose about one to 1.5 billion dollars for us to get 300 plus million dollars. Now that's not any new dollars at all, but that's already dollars that are being spent in the state in other businesses that would be taken away from them," said Wilson.

Senator Wilson said with this now in the rear view mirror, the focus now turns to the budget which he and other lawmakers have said will be a very difficult task this year.


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