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Kentucky Governor Says Suicide Is A Nightly Occurrence At Casinos

Gov. Matt Bevin Made The Claim In A Wednesday Radio Interview

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Gov. Matt BevinIn a Wednesday radio interview, the governor of Kentucky said that nightly suicide attempts are a price that society would pay in exchange for expanded gambling in the state.

Gov. Matt Bevin, a Republican, was on WKDZ and questioned on the topic because his opponent in the upcoming election, Attorney General Andy Beshear, is in favor of legalizing casinos and sports betting in an attempt to fund the state’s public pension system.

“Every night somewhere in America, somebody takes their life in a casino because they’ve wasted the last semblance of dignity and hope that they had,” Bevin said in the interview.

He went on to say that ‘families are ruined’ because of legalized gambling and didn’t offer any evidence that his claims were true.

Bill Miller, president and CEO of the American Gaming Association, a gaming advocacy group, said that the comments made by the governor were completely untrue.

“Governor Bevin’s comments this morning about the casino gaming industry were patently false and irresponsible,” said Miller in a statement. “Our industry commits hundreds of millions of dollars a year to address the very serious issue of problem gambling, ensuring that patrons have the tools they need to engage in our offerings in a responsible manner.”

Beshear wrote a letter to the legislature last November asking them to legalize casinos and sports betting so that the state will continue to provide pensions to its employees.

“The solution is not to cut legally promised benefits,” said Beshear in his letter. “The answer is simple – expanded gaming including casino, fantasy sports, and sports gaming, as well as preparing for the legalization of online poker.”

Last February, a bill was introduced into the state legislature that would legalize both online poker and sports betting. The bill was sponsored by Republican lawmakers, but with Bevin at the helm, it seems unlikely that any legislation would ever pass.