Kansas committee rejects slots at race tracks

A proposed bill to install slots at state’s race tracks was rejected by the Kansas House Appropriations committee.

US.- The Kansas House Appropriations committee rejected a proposed legislation that would’ve granted Phill Ruffin’s Wichita Greyhound Park to install slot machines. House Bill 2173 failed to pass through the committee as some lawmakers were concerned about both legal and financial backlash for the state.

The vote ended 13-8 against the bill being sent to the House floor for further debate since the committee considered financial risks to be too high. As it was a major concern, House Speaker Ron Ryckman asked for further analysis after the House Federal and State Affairs Committee voted to approve the proposal earlier this year. The unusual treatment by two different committees implies how uncertain the state was about the bill.

Lawmakers felt unease about potential lawsuits too. The possibility of the four Kansas casinos to consider the proposal to threaten or even break their contracts with the state was the other main reason that brought HB2173 down.

Bill supporters were highly dissapointed to see it fail as they considered it would bring the racing industry back on track. In their opinion, slot machines at racing tracks would bring in revenue for Ruffin’s business and the state. The billionaire would’ve had to place between US$120-150 million for casino-operator legal actions payment but that money would’ve been compensated by future revenue. However, with the committee’s negative decision, there’s nothing to discuss, at least for now.

Chairman Troy Waymaster, R-Bunker Hill has assured the committee he can create a subcommittee to bring tracks and casinos to work on a compromise next year.

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kansas racetracks slot machines