Kansas Senate to Debate Bill for Gambling Law Changes

Southeast Kansas lawmakers say that they Wednesday’s action in the Kansas Senate’s Federal and State Affairs Committee is promising. Encouraged by a 5-4 vote, the committee endorsed bill that would allow racinos-combined racetracks and casinos- to keep more revenue from slot machines. This bill would also reduce the minimum investment required by the manager for a state-owned casino in Crawford or Cherokee counties.The state law on these operations was enacted in 2007, and this bill was one of the first legislative moves that loosened the requirements for casinos.

The vote, completed on March 24, will send the bill to the full Senate for debate.

“I’m encouraged,” said state Sen. Bob Marshall, R-Fort Scott. “I was afraid we weren’t going to get it out. It’s very late in the session.”

This bill would require the racinos to share 22 percent of their slot machine revenue with the state. The current law has the racinos sharing 40 percent.

If the Kansas Senate approves the new casino measure, the bill would go to the Kansas House for a vote. State Sen. Bob Marshall, R-Fort Scott, said he is even more confident of passage in the House than he is of passage in the Senate.

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