Kansas Slot Machines
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by: Gene Koprowski.
Slot machine gaming at resort casinos is coming to Kansas, either by the end of this year, or early in 2008. Kansas is poised to be the only state in the nation to own resort casinos,
after the state's governor, Kathleen Sabelius, lobbied all during the legislative season to pass her plan. House and Senate members were convinced that an estimated $200 million a year in new state revenue and thousands of new jobs will be created by the new law, enervating communities. When the plan is complete, there will be four new, large casinos in Kansas and slot machines at three horse and dog racetracks.

New Rules

Regulators have the complicated task of writing business rules for tracks and casinos. The state is still several months away from awarding contracts to investor groups to run these new casinos.

According to Steve Martino, executive director of the Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission, state agencies responsible for regulation are moving ahead with planning for the new casinos and slots.
The gambling destinations will compete with four tribal casinos that have operated for a decade on American Indian reservations.

According to the leaders of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation, which lives north of Topeka, they are considering a lawsuit to block the expansion. Three other tribes are part of consortiums interested in bidding for the state casinos.
Gov. Sabelius asked Attorney General Paul Morrison to file a lawsuit to force an advisory opinion from the Kansas Supreme Court.

"If you're asking investors to come forward and make a minimum $225 million investment, they need to know that they're on strong legal grounds," Sabelius said.

The new law permits casino, hotel and restaurant complexes to be built in each of four designated gambling regions.
"It is about keeping money here in Kansas without raising taxes," said Sabelius.

A total of 2,800 slot machines are to be divided among The Woodlands in Kansas City, Kan., Wichita Greyhound Park and Camptown Greyhound Park in Frontenac. Holders of these contracts would pay the state a start-up fee of $2,500 per machine.

The state is to receive 22% of the casino revenue and 40% of slot machine revenue. Local governments are to get 3% from a casino.

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