State lawmakers bet gambling can help with budgets

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Here’s another sign of recession: States are increasingly turning to gambling to plug budget holes.

Proposals to allow or expand slots or casinos are percolating in at least 14 states, tempting legislators and governors at a time when many must decide between cutting services and raising taxes.

Kentucky’s House speaker had proposed allowing video gambling terminals at the state’s racetracks, and lawmakers in New Hampshire, New York and Texas are seeing proposals this year to allow similar gambling terminals at their tracks.

Gambling has detractors in every state, but political analysts say resistance is easier to overcome when states are struggling with badly bruised economies.

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