UPDATE: Bill blocking slots at Wichita-area racetrack advances

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

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TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas Senate has approved a proposal for blocking slot machines at a closed dog-racing track outside Wichita.

The 28-12 vote Tuesday night sends the measure to the House.

Senators approved the bill while passing a separate measure designed to bring a state-owned casino to southeast Kansas.

The vote on the casino bill was 28-10.

Senate President and Wichita Republican Susan Wagle said both measures reflected the views of residents in each area.

But Senate Democratic Leader Anthony Hensley of Topeka accused the Senate's conservative Republican leaders of pushing the anti-slots bill to punish Wichita Greyhound Park's owner for backing moderate GOP candidates in 2012 primaries.

Backers of the bill said it is designed only to settle the debate over slots at the Wichita-area park.

Previous story:

The Kansas Senate has given first-round approval to a proposal to block slot machines at a closed dog-racing track outside Wichita.

The bill advanced Tuesday on a voice vote over protests from Senate Democratic Leader Anthony Hensley of Topeka. Approval on a second Senate vote would send it to the House.

The measure prevents any local votes authorizing slot machines at Wichita Greyhound Park until July 2032. Owner Phil Ruffin has said he still wants to pursue slots and reopen the track, which closed in 2007.

Hensley said the measure is aimed at punishing Ruffin for backing unsuccessful moderate Republican candidates in the 2012 GOP primary.

Backers said the bill was sought by gambling opponents hoping to settle the issue of slots at the Wichita track for good.

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