enate President David Williams proposed an amendment that would have called for any changes in Kentucky's gambling laws to have to be approved by voters in the state. Williams has been against slot gambling expansion at state racetracks.
The Democrats, however, united on Wednesday and blocked Williams' effort just one vote short of the required twenty-three for the amendment to pass. Many political analysts believe the move was symbolic as a response to Williams blocking the slot gambling issue from being discussed in the Senate.
Williams denies these claims and suggests that his only motive with the amendment is to have the people of Kentucky decide the issue. Traditionally, outside of the lottery and horse racing industry, Kentucky has been a more conservative state when it comes to gambling.
Gambling expansion at state racetracks has been a major issue discussed by lawmakers in recent years. The racing industry has been ravaged by the economic recession, and many legislators believe that the tracks in Kentucky will not survive without the help of additional revenue from slots.
Governor Steve Beshear has sent mixed messages about his stance on gambling in Kentucky. Beshear attempted unsuccessfully to seize the domain names of 141 online gambling websites last year. That came at a time when the governor was pushing for gambling expansion at the tracks.