Director, Commonwealth Policy Center

The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission approved a plan to expand casino gambling in the West Kentucky community of Oak Grove. It's a huge development with a horse track, restaurants, hotel and entertainment complex. But the biggest attraction is the casino which will house up to 1500 instant racing machines. Churchill Downs plans to have 12 days of horse racing while the slots will likely operate 365 days a year making it clear it's not really about horses and higher purses as much as its about enticing Fort Campbell soldiers and Nashvillians to gamble. The winners will be the horse industry and the city of Oak Grove. However, as with all gambling, there will be losers—real people who'll lose their paycheck, savings and in some cases their families. Which should make us wonder if this all worth it.