A closer look at casino plans in Jenkins, Kentucky

A closer look at casino plans in Jenkins, Kentucky


A STRUGGLING COAL MINING TOWN IN KENTUCKY HOPES CASINO LEGISLATION WILL HELP THEM CASH IN ON MUCH NEEDED JOBS AND TOURISM. DEVELOPERS ARE PUSHING LEGISLATION TO ALLOW THE PROJECT… IN A RACE AGAINST THE STATE OF VIRGINIA. JENKINS, KENTUCKY IS JUST ACROSS THE STATE LINE FROM WISE COUNTY — AND A FEW HOURS FROM BRISTOL, VIRGINIA WHERE DEVELOPERS ARE WORKING ON CASINO RESORT PROJECT OF THEIR OWN. JUST YESTERDAY, SENATOR BILL CARRICO ADDRESSED THE SENATE IN RICHMOND. HE IMPLORED LAWMAKERS TO ACT WITH URGENCY… BEFORE RIVAL NEIGHBORING PROJECTS GET THE GREEN LIGHT FIRST. “IT’S GOING TO ECONOMICALLY DETRIMENTAL TO US BECAUSE THEY’RE GOING TO TAKE THE LEAD ON THIS AND MOVE FORWARD. NEWS CHANNEL 11’S JACKIE DEFUSCO TRAVELED TO JENKINS KENTUCKY FOR AN EXCLUSIVE LOOK AT THE PROPOSED CASINO PROJECT AN ECONOMICALLY STRUGGLING COMMUNITY SAYS THEY CAN’T AFFORD TO LOSE. WE’VE HEARD A RESORT AND CASINO PROJECT IN BRISTOL DESCRIBED AS A MOONSHOOT WELL JENKINS DEVELOPERS ARE CALLING THEIR PROJECT A MAGIC BULLET THAT THEY SAY COULD BRING NEARLY A THOUSAND JOBS…WITH AN AVERAGE SALARY OF 50 THOUSAND DOLLARS TO A REGION OF KENTUCKY IN DESPERATE NEED OF TAX REVENUE IN THE EARLY 1900’S…ONE INDUSTRY BUILT THE HOMES AND BROUGHT THE JOBS ..BY THE THOUSANDS TO JENKINS, KENTUCKY “THIS CITY WAS BUILT ON COAL, IT VERY MUCH WAS, BUT IF WE’RE GOING TO CONTINUE TO GROW THE CITY IF WE’RE GOING TO TAKE IT IN THE DIRECTION THAT EVERYONE WANTS TO GO, IT’S GOING TO HAVE TO BE BUILT ON SOMETHING ELSE.” THOUSANDS OF COAL JOBS DECLINED TO DOZENS …FAMILIES FOLLOWED “THE BIGGEST THING THAT HELPS A CITY GROW IS HAVING FAMILIES LIVING HERE WITH JOBS AND THEIR KIDS GOING TO YOUR SCHOOLS.” BUT TODAY– THE MAYOR OF JENKINS SAYS ABOUT 60 PERCENT OF THE COMMUNITY IS RETIRED AND UNEMPLOYMENT IS AT ABOUT 10 PERCENT “MOST ALL TRAVEL 45 MINUTES TO AN HOUR TO GET TO A GOOD JOB.” “SO OUT OF THIS COME THIS IDEAL THAT MAYBE WE CAN CREATE JOBS FOR PEOPLE.” “AND SO THERE IS NO MAGIC BULLET BUT THIS IS AS CLOSE AS WE’RE GOING TO SEE TO A MAGIC BULLET.” RAVEN ROCK RESORT AND CASINO– WOULD OVERLOOK EASTERN KENTUCKY FROM A PLATEAU ON PINE MOUNTAIN “IT’S VERY MUCH A PLAY ON THE NATURAL BEAUTY OF WHAT WE HAVE HERE, IT’S SO BEAUTIFUL UP ON THAT MOUNTAIN.” “RAVEN ROCK CAN BE THE DRAW FOR THE WHOLE AREA. WE WANT DOWNHILL BIKING, TREE TOP WALKS, ZIPLINES, MOUNTAIN COASTERS, THINGS LIKE THAT, A TRUE ADVENTURE “BUT WHAT’S GOING TO DRIVE IT ECONOMICALLY IS THE GAMING FLOOR.” AND THAT WILL REQUIRE A CHANGE IN KENTUCKY’S STATE LAW THAT CURRENTLY BANS CASINO GAMBLING THIS PROJECT HAS BEEN IN THE WORKS SINCE 2016 THEY SAY THEY’RE GAINING TRACTION BUT LIKE THEIR NEIGHBORS JUST OVER THE STATE LINE IN VIRGINIA THEY’RE FACING ROADBLOCKS “WE HAVE A LOT OF OTHER STATES THAT HAVE EXPANDED GAMING THAT ARE BASICALLY LOBBYING AGAINST EXPANDING GAMING IN KENTUCKY.” “YOU MENTION THERE’S SOME INTERSTATE COMPETITION GOING ON, WHY DO THIS IS KENTUCKY AND NOT IN VIRGINIA?” “THREE YEARS AGO, WHAT’S HAPPENING IN BRISTOL WAS LIKE A MILLION TO ONE SHOT.” “AND THE REALITY IS, KENTUCKY IS A GAMBLING STATE, KENTUCKY IS A BETTING STATE, IT IS A HORSE RACING STATE.” AND IN THIS RACE TO CAPTURE OUT OF STATE TAX REVENUE THEY THINK THAT MENTALITY COULD MAKE THE DIFFERENCE “WAS THERE ANY LOCAL PUSH BACK?” “NOT REALLY, A FEW PEOPLE HAD A LOT OF QUESTIONS SEEMED LIKE THEY GOT ALRIGHT WITH IT.” “THE PASTORS REALIZE IF THEY DON’T HAVE PEOPLE IN THEIR PEWS, THEN THEY DON’T HAVE CHURCHES.” COMPARE THAT TO THE BACKLASH IN BRISTOL WHERE A BREADTH OF OPPOSITION FROM THE RELIGIOUS COMMUNITY COULD KILL A CASINO PROJECT IN A LOCAL REFERNDUM “BRISTOL DOESN’T NECESSARILY NEED SAVING, IT WOULD BE A NICE TO HAVE NOT A HAVE TO HAVE. IT’S A HAVE TO HAVE HERE.” “GIVING UP ISN’T AN OPTION. THERE’S NOTHING ELSE ON THE TABLE FOR US.” THE KENTUCKY MESSAGE IS SIMILAR TO BRISTOL’S – THEY WANT THE CHANCE TO CONTROL THEIR OWN DEVELOPERS SAY THERE COULD BE MOVEMENT ON THE KENTUCKY LEGISLATION THIS MONTH. EVEN IF IT’S APPROVED IT WOULD STILL TAKE ABOUT 2 YEARS TO BUILD. LIVE IN THE STUDIO, JACKIE DEFUSCO, NEWS CHANNEL 11, IN YOUR CORNER

2 thoughts on “A closer look at casino plans in Jenkins, Kentucky”

  1. Hmm. Maybe they’ll let me bring my own mayonnaise this time. Put a casino in my poor ass town. We’re all gonna go even more broked. Darn Jenkins boys.

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