Rep. Doug Gatewood, D-Columbus, and Rep. Bob Grant, D-Cherokee, today introduced a bill to make a destination casino and casino-gaming at race tracks in southeast Kansas more attractive to business investment. The bill would do the following:
- Lower the minimum investment in casinos for southeast Kansas from $225 million to $100 million;
- Reduce the privilege fee from $25 million to $11 million; and
- Reduce the rate that race track management fee pays to the state from 40 percent to 22 percent.
“The provisions of this bill will make a more attactive atmosphere for businesses to invest in the infrastructure that already exists in southeast Kansas,” Gatewood said. “Lowering the initial investment and the ongoing management fees will make our area competitive with surrounding states. It seems to me that it’s better for Kansas to get 22 percent of something than getting 40 percent of nothing. ”
“This bill will help our area create good jobs for the future of Kansas and southeast Kansas in particular,” said Grant, who is co-sponsoring the legislation. “The southeast Kansas economy has been hit hard by the national economic recession and we need to do something to stimulate job growth. This bill will help get Kansans back to work.”
The bill likely will be referred to the Federal and State Committee, Gatewood said, and, hopefully, will be heard early in the session. “The sooner we can obtain gaming investment in Southeast Kansas, the sooner we can help the entire state get on the road to economic recovery.”
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