Woodlands, smoking at casino amendments defeated on Senate floor

Two amendments affecting gaming in Wyandotte County went down to defeat on Tuesday night in the Kansas Senate.

Sen. Steve Fitzgerald, R-5th Dist., offered an amendment on the floor to a southeast Kansas gaming bill that would change the state’s share of slots revenue at the racetrack  from 40 percent to 22 percent, the same rate paid by state casinos.

Several votes on the amendment were taken, and the final 19-19 vote on his amendment did not pass.

Sen. David Haley, D-4th Dist., proposed an amendment that would eliminate smoking on the casino floors.

Currently, smoking is allowed on the state casino floors, although smoking has been banned in most other public places including restaurants. However, Missouri casinos still allow smoking.

While both amendments lost, the southeast Kansas gaming bill passed 28-10. It reduced the total amount of money investors would need to pay the state.

Another amendment to the bill, by Sen. Tom Holland, would have allowed veterans organizations to have three electronic gaming machines, but the amendment was withdrawn.

House Bill 2272 eliminated an earlier version about industrial revenue bond property tax abatement and added language on gaming that would drop the amount of investment required in infrastructure in a southeast Kansas casino from $225 million to $50 million. The privilege fee required by the casino manager to the state was dropped from $25 million to $5.5 million.

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