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Study shows economic benefit of casino gaming in Kentucky

The Kentucky Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday released preliminary findings from a statewide study commissioned by a partnership of Kentucky horse industry interests. The study, conducted by the independent research firm Spectrum Gaming Group, shows the economic impact of adding casino-style gaming at eight Kentucky racetrack locations would produce $1.7 billion dollars of economic impact during the first full year of casino operations, resulting in a net gain of approximately 11,000 full-time jobs, paying $290 million in wages annually.

The Kentucky Gaming Market Analysis and Impacts Report was completed in December 2011 by Spectrum Gaming Group, based in Linwood, New Jersey, and projects the gross gaming revenue generated by casino gaming at eight racetrack locations across the Commonwealth, as well as casino gaming impacts on Kentucky's economy, employment and its signature horse-racing industry. Key findings include the following statewide outcomes during the first full year of casino operations:

  • 10,953 full-time jobs directly tied to casino operations with a payroll of $289.3 million;
  • 4,297 full-time construction jobs over an estimated 30-month build-out period with a payroll of $338 million;
  • $1.14 billion in gross gaming revenue;
  • $464.7 million in gaming tax revenue and $541.3 million in total Kentucky tax receipts (totals include funds for horse-racing industry programs);
  • $266 million in one-time license fees ($20,000 per gaming position);
  • $164.6 in funds for horse-racing industry programs with $152.5 million for Thoroughbred and Standardbred purses; $10.5 million for the Equine Breed Authority; and $1.6 million for Quarter Horse purses;
  • When taking the above estimates into consideration, the study finds that eight prospective racetrack casinos would generate first-year gross state product -- or total economic impact -- of $1.7 billion.

    "Expanded gaming is not only about protecting Kentucky's signature horse industry, it is a way to generate substantial investment and job growth in the Commonwealth," Dave Adkisson, president and CEO of the Kentucky Chamber, said. "This study shows we have an opportunity to not only stem job losses, but to expand and grow them within our borders by recapturing economic activity from other states. Expanded gaming is an appropriate response to other states' assault on our signature industry."

    "This study reinforces that it is time to keep Kentuckians' money in the Commonwealth and create new revenue streams that benefit our state and its citizens," Vince Gabbert, vice president and COO of Keeneland Association, said. "More than 80 percent of Kentuckians polled have asked for the right to vote on this issue, and we agree their voices should be heard."

    "Through this comprehensive market analysis, we can see the overwhelmingly positive impact casinos at racetracks will have on Kentucky's economy and employment picture, in addition to helping preserve and grow Kentucky's signature horse-racing industry," Brett Hale, senior vice president of corporate and government relations for Churchill Downs Incorporated, noted. "The forecast provides compelling data, and we look forward to sharing this information with our leaders in Frankfort as we continue our efforts to move our Commonwealth forward."


     

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