In an interview with Daily Racing Form reporter Matt Heggarty Hegarty, Kentucky state senator Damon Thayer lays down the law on legislation regarding slots in Kentucky.
Typically a cunning analyst, Heggarty gets schooled by Thayer on the duplicities of Kentucky politics, as the sitting senator takes the field and does a victory prance in the end zone with comments saying the racing industry made slots a partisan issue and declaiming the “fact that they [the advocates of slots] took aim at our Republican Senate majority actually made us stronger and made Senate President David Williams stronger as well.”
A certain amount of chest thumping is to be expected of any politician or most any excited gorilla, but Thayer showed his control of the interview with uncontested and highly disingenuous remarks about why the Democratic speaker of the state house of representatives didn’t bother to put a slots bill on the house floor. The reason is that the Republican president of the Kentucky senate had prevented the same bill coming to a vote last year and was going to do the same this year. So why waste the house members’ time and Kentucky’s money?
Thayer’s most chilling comment comes near the end of this sham: “… there are a lot of people out there that don’t believe that they [racetracks] should have a monopoly on slot machines and gaming. There are very compelling arguments out there that say that the best way forward for casinos is to put freestanding casinos in the larger population centers in Kentucky, and to put a portion of those proceeds into supporting purses and breeder incentives.”
I’ve never considered Damon Thayer a genuine friend to the sport, but it has been his meal ticket and springboard to regional importance and power. Now I’m wondering where he sees the future taking him and at whose expense?