No Surprise In Kentucky Where Church Comes Out Against Gambling
One of the knocks on the Catholic Church over the years by members of other religions is that the church uses scare tactics with their parishioners. Now, those scare tactics are being used in Kentucky to try and keep gambling expansion from taking place.
Catholic Conference of Kentucky Director Rev. Patrick Delahanty has sent a letter to senators in Kentucky, warning them of the possible dangers associated with gambling expansion. The letter centered on the usual arguments when dealing with gambling expansion, increased crime, addiction, and family problems.
"With their flashing lights, free-flowing alcoholic drinks, all-night hours and generally intoxicating atmosphere, casinos are more likely than other gambling options to lead to bad decisions and catastrophic losses for patrons, particularly those prone to problem or compulsive gambling," read the letter.
Despite the warning from the church, Governor Steve Beshear appears poised to make gambling at Kentucky race tracks a reality. Beshear started the gambling expansion talk last year, and earlier this week he released his first proposal regarding how to expand gambling in the state. Beshear believes the slots at state tracks will help the racing industry survive.
In recent years, the Kentucky racing industry has struggled to stay above water financially. With sports such as MMA and the NBA becoming more popular over the past decade, sports such as racing and boxing are being phased out. The take at the tracks has been down, and state lawmakers around the country have been looking for ways to help keep their racing industries afloat.
Dozens of states have turned to gambling as a way to deal with the economic crunch created by the recession. Kentucky has had a love/hate relationship with gambling. Several years ago Beshear attempted to seize the domain names of 141 online gambling sites. That attempt failed, and last year Beshear started to circulate the notion that he would be in favor of slots at Kentucky tracks.
Beshear quickly responded to the church's assertion that gambling can only present problems in the state.
"Opponents of expanded gambling should not deny their fellow citizens the right to vote on this issue."
When speaking about the millions of dollars that goes to neighboring states each year, Beshear was even more definitive in his support to bring that gambling money back to Kentucky.
"This money funds their schools, their libraries, their police departments, and other improvement. It makes no sense to continue watching that happen."
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