Having served in the Kentucky General Assembly for over 20 years, I have seen many landmark issues come before the state legislature. I was there for the education reforms, the ethics reforms and countless other bills that we have passed. Never before, though, have I thought an issue could impact the future of Kentucky so much as legalized gambling.
The supporters of gambling defend it by talking about how much money it will bring into our state. After several years of the state budget being a crucial issue, I can appreciate the fact that Kentuckians are looking for new ways to bring in revenue to our state. That being said, I'm afraid that the costs of legalized gambling could far outweigh the benefts.
These costs will not be financial but rather will be costs that will take their toll on Kentucky's families. Gambling can affect everyone who plays but without a doubt, it hurts the most those who have least to lose. Kentuckians in poverty need a helping hand from their leaders to give them the resources and the opportunities to pull themselves up by their bootstraps. Giving them the temptation to gamble and lose what limited financial resources they have is reprehensible.