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District Court Rules Expanded Lottery Act is Constitutional

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February 1, 2008

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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