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House Committee Rejects Bill to Allow Slot Machines at Racetracks

The Kansas Statehouse. (Photo by Stephen Koranda)

A House committee held a lengthy debate, but ultimately rejected a proposal that could have allowed slot machines to be installed at dog and horse racing tracks in Kansas. It had the potential to revive shuttered facilities in the Wichita, Kansas City and Pittsburg areas.

Supporters of the bill called it a job creator, and said it would boost the horse and dog racing industries in Kansas.

Republican Representative Bradley Ralph opposed the plan, saying it would likely lead to costly litigation for the state and would shift business away from state casinos built in recent years.

“We’re losing money at the end of the day from both of those perspectives. At this point, this is a losing proposition all the way around for the state,” says Ralph.
The proposal would have required 5,000 signatures and a public vote before slot machines could be installed at the Wichita racetrack. The other facilities would have requirements on the number of horse or dog races to be held each year.

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