In 2012, the Clark County Agribusiness Tour went to Colorado and Cheyenne, Wyo. After landing in Denver and visiting Buffalo Bill’s grave and the Coors brewery, we traveled west to Black Hawk, population 118. We stayed in a 33-story Ameristar Casino Resort. The resort, including the hotel, restaurant and casino, were first-class all the way.
In 1990, the Colorado legislature approved casino gambling in the former gold-mining towns of Black Hawk and nearby Central City. That experience made me wonder if the same thing could work in former coal-mining towns in Kentucky. Patrons might come from southeastern Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia and Tennessee.
I read that Jenkins, Ky, was exploring casino gambling to complement its tourism efforts. I support that idea, solely for the number of jobs it could create. I have no idea how much revenue from casino gambling could benefit Kentucky. As for morality, I’ve worked enough bingo to know that people are going to gamble. A cab driver recently told me that he charged a man $350 for driving him to a Cincinnati casino. After witnessing the number of jobs created by just one casino resort in Colorado, I believe the Kentucky legislature should explore every means possible to help replace lost coal-mining jobs in Eastern Kentucky. Let’s roll the dice.