Catholic bishops in Kentucky have issued a stern warning about the potential consequences if lawmakers approve a proposal to legalize casinos.
The Rev. Patrick Delahanty, executive director of the Catholic Conference of Kentucky, distributed a letter to state senators on Tuesday detailing the unanimous concerns of the state’s four bishops who represent some 400,000 parishioners in the state.
“With their flashing lights, free-flowing alcoholic drinks, all-night hours and generally intoxicating atmosphere, casinos are more likely than other gambling options to lead to bad decisions and catastrophic losses for patrons, particularly those prone to problem or compulsive gambling,” Delahanty wrote in the two-page letter, distributed a day before the issue is to be considered by a Senate committee.
The letter was on behalf of Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Bishop Roger J. Foys of Covington, Bishop Ronald W. Gainer of Lexington and Bishop William F. Medley of Owensboro.
Gambling opponents, including the Kentucky Council of Churches and the Kentucky Baptist Convention, have been working feverishly to try to defeat Gov. Steve Beshear’s proposal for a constitutional amendment that would allow up to seven casinos to open in the state.
The proposal is tentatively scheduled for a vote Wednesday in the Senate Committee on State and Local Government. [More]