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Posted December 26, 2013 by Terry Goodwin
The state of Kentucky has been going through a crazy drive when it comes to casino gambling over the past few years. At a time when amusement halls became popular with the locals, law enforcement led to an attack on gambling venues that resulted in legislators' convictions for bribery.
Now, a few years after the dust has resolved this legal issue, lawmakers are preparing again to put pressure on regulated casinos. It's an issue that has surfaced and been tackled several times in recent years, but keeps coming back due to the lucrative nature of the industry.
This time, legislators are based on the idea that the state cannot afford to pass through the hundreds of millions of tax dollars that come from regulated casinos. It is a structure that has operated in other states and, according to supporters of games in Kentucky, this time it will affect voters.
"The state needs money," said Senate majority leader Dan Seum. - Either you pay the tax or do it. Which one do you want.
Seum has lofty plans for Kentucky's first step into the gaming industry. The legislative leader is getting ready to propose a bill that would add seven casinos in the state. Casinos pay 10 percent income tax, which would be one of the lowest taxes in the US.
While the plan is under development, the bill is not expected to be discussed or voted ahead of the fall 2014 session. This gives Seum and opponents of gambling plenty of time to develop their strategy when a bill is finally proposed.
Some of the biggest lobbying funds come from the gambling tycoons in recent years. Milton McGregor, who fought and overcame the charges against him, had been lobbying lawmakers for years to regulate slot machines. McGregor ran one of the state's largest gaming venues, VictoryLand, for several years before closing the plant following McGregor's arrest.