Archive for Wednesday, March 27, 2002

Slot machine bill stalls in committee

March 27, 2002

Legislation that could have meant the addition of slot machines at The Woodlands and other state-licensed racetracks temporarily stalled Monday, March 25, in the Kansas House Tourism Committee.

The slot machine bill, which was originally introduced by Rep. Ray Cox, a Basehor Republican, was tabled after others on the committee tried to increase the amount of revenue that would have been earmarked for the Unified Government.

"Too many people have their fingers in the pie," Cox said. "My bill ceased to be my bill."

Although discussion of the proposed slot machine legislation was tabled Monday, Cox said he has been told it could come back before the House Tourism Committee for further consideration as early as next week.

While Cox was disappointed that tinkering by other lawmakers resulted in the bill being tabled, he said he is confident the fight for slot machines is not finished.

"Nothing ever dies up here," he said, commenting from the House floor.

The slot machine bill would have allowed The Woodlands and two other state-licensed racetracks one in Wichita and the other in Pittsburg to operate slot machines on their grounds, potentially drawing additional revenue for both the racetracks and the state.

The bill would have also allowed another slot machine site to be built as a tourist attraction for the state, likely in a small city along Interstate 70. The actual site would have to be chosen by the governor and be more than 100 miles from any of the current racetracks.

Cox said one of his biggest goals in introducing the slot machine legislation was the idea of stopping "the flow of Kansas money into Missouri."

"The gaming is going on," Cox said. "Let's utilize it in Kansas."

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