Kentuckians Gambling In Neighboring States

The judge-executive of Kenton County, Kentucky, Steve Arlinghaus, urges voters to contact legislators and ask them to support casino gaming in the state. He said, "500 feet is all that separates Kentucky from several hundred million dollars a year."

Steve Arlinghaus, the judge-executive of Kenton County, Kentucky, recently wrote, “Five hundred feet. That is all that separates Kentucky from several hundred million dollars a year.” He noted casinos have opened just outside Kentucky’s borders in the last 20 years—most recently in downtown Cincinnati, as well as others in Ohio, Indiana, West Virginia and Illinois. These “entertainment destinations perched right on our border” are “meant to attract Kentuckians and Kentucky dollars. Our neighbors have used hundreds of millions of Kentucky dollars to build schools, roads, pay teachers and create jobs in their states. Meanwhile, our state struggles to find the revenue dollars necessary to fund critical education and health care programs.”

Arlinghaus said the two main irrefutable points are: 1) “that numerous casinos are currently located a few hundred feet from Kentucky’s border;” and 2) “that Kentuckians travel that very short distance and spend over $500 million per year at out-of-state casinos.”

He asked, “Based on those two irrefutable points, we must ask ourselves whether it is really worth maintaining 500 feet of separation at a cost to our state of hundreds of millions of dollars a year?”

Arlinghaus said opponents want to keep casinos out of Kentucky, “but the truth is, gaming is already here.” He noted lawmakers “cannot find the dollars to fund our communities including the cities and towns. But there’s a way to find those dollars and it does not involve costly tax increases.”

He urged voters to contact their legislators and ” Tell him or her that 500 feet of separation is it not worth hundreds of million dollars in lost revenue.”