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Nonprofit Opposing West Ky. Racetrack Cites Lack Of Discussion And Legislative Hearings

A nonprofit opposed to expanded gambling in Kentucky cites a lack of public input as a reason to oppose a $150 million dollar horse racing track in Oak Grove.

The conservative Commonwealth Policy Center hosted a town meeting at Edgewood Baptist Church in Hopkinsville Thursday night.

State Senator Whitney Westerfield was there said the absence of a public discussion about the track is suspect and he hopes the facility isn’t built.

“I want there to be jobs,” Westerfield said. “I want to have more jobs and more revenue for the state and I want to create good growth in Oak Grove and all of Christian County and the rest of Kentucky. I don’t want it to come from the losses of Kentuckians.”

Lieutenant Governor Jenean Hampton said she can’t support an industry that encourages people to lose money. CPC Executive Director Richard Nelson believes that while the race track will attract people from Fort Campbell and Nashville, they will not spread a to benefit the community. Nelson also said there weren’t legislative hearings to determine the legality of “instant racing” machines.

The race track is set to be completed in October for 12 days of racing in October and November. A four-story hotel, grandstand, amphitheater, gaming center with 1,500 historical racing machines and an RV park are expected to be complete in 2020. The amphitheater inside the racetrack will be used for concerts and other events. A sit-down restaurant and two grab-and-go venues will also be built, as well as an event center that can accommodate around 3,000 people.

Oak Grove has a population of more than 7,000 and is adjacent to Fort Campbell on the state line between Hopkinsville and Clarksville, Tennessee. The facility is expected to create 400 jobs.

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