Shawnee County District Court Judge Charles Andrews ruled today that the Kansas
Expanded Lottery Act is constitutional. The law was enacted last year to license
four state-owned casinos and to allow slot machines at The Woodlands racetrack
in Kansas City, Kan., and a pari-mutuel dog track in Frontenac, near Pittsburg.
In his 41-page decision, Judge Andrews focused on the primary issue of whether
the new law meets the state constitution's definition of a "state owned and
operated lottery". He decided it does and wrote "the state has preserved for
itself the decision-making and functional control over the important aspects of
gaming ownership and operation."
This court ruling is considered the first step towards settling legal issues
that are expected to arise from the law. One of its provisions directed the
state attorney general to file a friendly lawsuit to test its constitutionality.
Now with this initial court decision, Attorney General Stephen Six said he would
immediately appeal to the Kansas Supreme Court. In a written statement he said:
"Due to the business interests and economic development at stake here, we will
also request the court to expedite the appeal."
The Kansas Expanded Lottery Act is projected to add $81 million this year in new
gaming revenues to the state.
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