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Kansas Lawmakers Continue To Fumble Gambling Options In The State

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The state of Kansas was on the right track two years ago when they enacted a law that would allow casino gambling in the state. Problems arose with the law, however, when the licensing process became too tedious and the economy took a turn for the worst.

Now, a Bill has been introduced that would lower some of the fees for casino developers and make it a little easier to finally complete the casino application process, but it is being blasted by Republican leaders.

"The legislation on the books is exactly what the industry wanted. Now it's apparently not what they want," said Representative Melvin Neufeld. Republican House Speaker Mike O'Neal has gone as far as to say if the issue came back up in the legislative session, that he "..would be interested in repealing" the 2007 law, a straight forward threat to lawmakers who want a new gambling Bill passed.

The stance of these leading Republicans has infuriated residents of Kansas. They were told that the gambling law would help to ensure that taxes were not raised, and now, with three of four zone contracts falling through, higher taxes may be the only option to help the state budget.

"If they set standards two years ago before the economy dumped, and the standards are too high, then why wouldn't they (lawmakers) re-examine their laws to make sure the casinos get built and money starts coming in?," said Gregory Tremple.

Representative Julie Menghini is the one pushing a new Bill that would lower the initial fee for developers and cut the tax rate on revenue the casinos took in. It is an effort to make building a casino in the state more attractive to prospective developers.

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