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Government

KS Attorney General Issues Opinion Gaming Revote In Sedgwick Co.

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Raging Wire, flickr Creative Commons
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Efforts to bring slot machines to a racetrack facility in Sedgwick County face a new roadblock.

Kansas’ attorney general issued a legal opinion on gaming Friday that says adding gaming machines would violate both a contract and state law.

The attorney general issued a 23-page response to State Rep. Mark Kahrs.

Kahrs is questioning the legality of pending legislation in the Kansas House (HB 2537) that would expand gambling in the state, among other things.

A local group called Sedgwick First, backed by racetrack owner Phil Ruffin, is seeking a revote on adding slot machines to the Wichita Greyhound Park.

Kahrs says the attorney general’s opinion upholds the will of the people.

"In 2007, they voted no for gambling in Sedgwick County and this ruling says that’s what the law is, and any revote in Sedgwick County violates the law and exposes our state to an expensive lawsuit and millions of dollars in damages," he says.

Kahrs, a Republican, is opposed to gambling and led a successful campaign in 2007 to keep gaming out of Sedgwick County.

The opinion says if the state were to proceed to allow slot machines in Sedgwick County, it would violate the state constitution, state law, and the contract the state has with gaming facility operators.

In 2007, the Kansas Legislature passed the Kansas Expanded Lottery Act (KELA). This act allows for the state of Kansas to own and operate a "destination casino resort" in four gaming zones – northeast, southeast, south central and southwest – within the state of Kansas.

Read KS Attorney General Derek Schmidt's full opinion below:

 

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Follow Deborah Shaar on Twitter @deborahshaar

 
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