The Joplin Globe is reporting that the Kansas Supreme Court has agreed to take up the constitutional issue of Kansas owning casinos. At the heart of the debate is the original law establishing the authority of the Kansas Lottery to own casinos and slots:
The state Constitution allows a state-owned and operated lottery, and the Supreme Court said in 1994 the term “lottery” is broad enough to include slot machines and other casino games.
Under the law, the Lottery contracts with developers to build and operate casinos, but it makes clear the facilities are state-owned and operated. Twelve other states have nontribal resort casinos, but only Kansas would have state-owned facilities, according to the American Gaming Association.
As reported earlier its quite clear that KS is not really owning anything but the profits because they won’t purchase the equipment, market their product or absorb any expenses related to doing business. The Kansas City Star explained:
In questioning the constitutionality of the law, the attorney general argued Kansas would “own” the apparatus of legalized gambling despite the fact it would hold title to no land, build or finance no buildings nor purchase slot machines or other gambling equipment or supplies.
“The right to own and operate those casinos will be sold to the highest bidders, with the state doing nothing more than collecting tax revenue and enacting regulations,” it said.
The Kansas legislature must think this method of ownership makes the practice legal under state law but it’s a difference without distinction. The court will hear arguments and will most likely give their ruling on June 27th, the next scheduled date for issuing opinions.