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What we think: Here's a sure bet to raise revenue

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By The Staff

We would like to offer an entirely new plan for how to expand state revenue and subsidize the ailing horse-racing industry.

Instead of installing slot machines at race tracks, how about we simply set odds on the actions of our state legislators?

They seem to be more fickle than a filly, and you don’t necessarily need to know the pedigree or quarter-mile time to pick a winner.

A $2 wager on any piece of legislation likely would return a handsome payout, and with each delay, amendment and revision, your betting options continually expand.

A trifecta would be any piece of legislation that passes both houses and gets the governor’s signature without any major delays, and you could box bets on different pieces of legislation.

This debate about slots is a prime example of how our new concept would work.

Our ongoing special session opened with a directive from Gov. Steve Beshear to take a look at expanding gambling to help horse racing.

But what happens? The House quickly passes a measure approving slots, and the Senate says no way this measure will see daylight. The Senators have another idea that adds a tax on the lottery.

When the session began, what would you have bet on the passage of slots? Not much.

But wouldn’t you have bet on the likelihood of a new or expanded tax being passed? Yes, we would have, too.

See, now we’re back to even money. In our new game, there are no sure bets and no even prohibitive odds. What person could handicap this?

Who could predict the collective reasoning of people on an issue that seems not to have much reason. (Wouldn’t slot machines at trace tracks ultimately take away from the betting pool at the track?)

You get the idea. If we’re going to expand gambling in Kentucky, we might as well try a little bit of everything. 

Come to think of it, though, we do wager frequently on the actions of our legislators.

But we call those taxes.