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Stumbo: Senate must act first on gambling

By Gregory A. Hall Louisville Courier-Journal

House Speaker Greg Stumbo suggested Thursday that a constitutional amendment to allow expanded gambling in Kentucky is dead.

In an interview on the House floor, Stumbo said that he won't ask House members to vote for the legislation unless the Senate, which has not approved an expansion of gambling since talks of casinos and racinos began more than a decade ago, acts first.

"The House ain't gonna start it ... why do it if the Senate's not going to act and history tells us that they can't pass it," he said.

Senate leaders have said that any gambling bill must start in the House.

Stumbo said he's certain the House could pass the amendment, which takes a three-fifths majority, if only the Senate would act.

"I can say beyond a doubt, that I will pledge that if the Senate were to send us a gaming amendment down here, that we would pass it in some form or fashion," Stumbo said.

"So if they can pass it and they want to move it forward, send it up here," he said. "I don't think the votes are anywhere close to being down there and the Senate needs to 'fess up and say they can't pass it."

Three bills calling for constitutional amendment to expand gambling bills are pending in the legislature, two in the House and one in the Senate.

Stumbo's comments came after supporters of expanded gambling rallied Thursday afternoon in the Capitol Rotunda to get a bill passed in the final quarter of the 2014 General Assembly session.

The rally was organized by the Kentucky Wins! group, a business coalition that includes Churchill Downs Inc.

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