Beshear's video slots plan
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June 9, 2009
Gov. Steve Beshear released details of a new bill Tuesday morning that was
developed in concert with statehouse Democratic leaders to provide millions of
dollars to Kentucky's equine industry and tax breaks for vehicle owners and
active military duty in addition to raising hundreds of millions for the state
"Kentucky's signature horse racing industry is in a state of crisis,"
Beshear said in a statement. "I believe my proposal will help level the playing
field for Kentucky's horse industry."
Under the plan racetracks would pay an initial application fee of $25,000 plus
licensing fees on a sliding scale up to $100 million to install video lottery
terminals (VLTs) that simulate slot machines, pokers, and other casino games.
Some examples of licensing fees are: Turfway Park would pay $100 million,
Churchill Downs in Louisville and Keeneland in Lexington would each pay
$75 million, and Thunder Ridge in the east Kentucky mountains would pay $20
million. Licenses would be for 10 years.
State Rep. Dennis Keene, D-Wilder, who chairs the House Licensing and
Occupations Committee, said "In order for the VLT (video lottery terminal)
legislation to pass, we must ensure it will help and support every region of our
commonwealth, not just the areas with racetracks."
SUMMARY OF GAMBLING BILL
. Beshear's plan assumes that video gambling at the state's race tracks would
generate $796.7 million and provide $297.6 million to the state's
general fund in the first year casinos of operation. By the sixth year,
revenue is projected to exceed $1 billion with the general fund receiving about
. Gaming revenue would be taxed at 25% for five years and then 35% after five
years. The horse industry would receive 14.5% of the money to boost purses and
offer breeding and other incentives. The horse industry also would receive other
tax breaks on the costs of breeding, feed, equipment, etc.
. The casinos would offer video gambling devices known as Video Lottery
Terminals (VLTs), which provide players with slot machines, poker and other
casino games on video monitors. The Kentucky Lottery Corp. would regulate and
oversee casino operations.
. Taxpayers would receive a $30 million non-refundable individual annual income
tax credit equal to 50 percent of the state property tax paid on registered
motor vehicles. The state income tax credit could not exceed $500 a year.
. All active duty military personnel would be exempt from individual income tax
saving them $18 million a year.
It is unclear if Beshear has the votes to pass the gambling bill.
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