02/19/2013 12:21PM

No Kentucky casino legislation in 2013, Beshear says


Always a longshot, Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear said in an interview on public radio Tuesday that an effort to authorize casinos in the state is dead for this year.

The deadline to file new legislation passed last week without a casino bill being filed. Beshear had said earlier this year that he was considering support for a bill that would legalize as many as seven casinos in the state, but the bill did not guarantee that existing racetracks would receive licenses, causing some tracks to withdraw support for the effort.

Because it is an odd-numbered year, Kentucky is conducting a brief, 30-day legislative session this year. The state has pressing problems with funding its state pension plans, and those troubles had introduced the possibility that a casino bill might have been used to generate revenue to at least partially cover the shortfalls in the plans.

Legislation calling for a constitutional referendum on authorizing casinos is expected to be re-introduced in 2014.