On behalf of the Kentucky Baptist Convention's Committee on Public Affairs, I want to express our strong opposition to the effort to expand gambling in our commonwealth through bills now in the Kentucky General Assembly. Our committee has the responsibility for keeping the more than 780,000 Kentucky Baptists in more than 2,400 churches in our commonwealth informed regarding legislative issues and we are urging opposition to this very destructive legislation.
We realize that the current state budget situation makes gambling expansion an attractive short-term fix to problems. However, we believe the benefits touted by the gambling industry are more imagined than real. Gambling tends to hurt most those who can least afford it and serves as a tax increase that simply shifts money to the gambling industry that could be more usefully spent in other sectors of the economy. Expanded gambling does not create new money for the state; it only siphons it away from other parts of the economy.