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'What Happens When We Stop Fighting': Beshear Hails Historical Horse Racing Bill's Passage

AP Photo/Otto Kitsinger, File

A bill aimed at rescuing historical horse racing games in the state is poised to become law, following a bipartisan vote by the Kentucky House on Friday.

Slots-style historical racing games were dealt a serious setback when the state's highest court ruled they did not constitute pari-mutuel wagering and were therefore illegal in Kentucky. But Friday, the General Assembly passed legislation meant to keep the lucrative games legal. Now it's Gov. Andy Beshear's turn, and he tells WUKY it's a done deal.

"I pushed hard to get this bill passed. It's going to save thousands of jobs. It's absolutely necessary for the health of the racing industry," the governor said. "Now we still have to work this session for a more fair and equitable tax structure, but it shows what happens when we stop fighting and Democrats and Republicans work together. I plan on signing it."

The bill's success represents a rare moment of alignment between the governor, minority Democrats, and sympathetic Republicans, many of whom are wary of signing on to any gambling-related legislation.

But the long-running legal battle over the machines is likely to continue, with leading opponents the Family Foundation expected to challenge the bill in court.

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.
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