In yet another anonymously introduced bill, someone in the Kansas state legislature has proposed a bill that would prevent Sedgwick County voters from being able to vote on the issue of allowing casinos in the county for 18 more years. HB 2125 was introduced by the Committee on Central Government Budget, a committee that is chaired by Rep. Pete DeGraaf. DeGraaf represents Mulvane, Kansas, the county located directly south of the Sedgwick County line, which also happens to be the location of the Kansas Star Casino, located in Sumner County, again, located directly south of Sedgwick County.
By all appearances, this is a bill that would prevent Sedgwick County from opening a casino to compete with the one located directly south of the county line, for 18 years. This bill, at face value, is an affront to the free market in that it blatantly suppresses competition in the gaming industry. This has the potential to dramatically affect the residents of Sedgwick County and the citizens of Wichita, the largest city in the state of Kansas.
Casinos bring tax revenue, jobs and money for schools. The money being generated by the casino in Sumner County is largely coming from residents of Sedgwick County, and there is no legitimate reason to propose a bill to prevent Sedgwick County from opening casinos to compete with the Kansas Star Casino, unless the owners of the Kansas Star Casino is lining someone’s pockets with money, money that actually came from Sedgwick County.
DeGraaf, despite having a large casino located in his district, is staunchly anti-gambling and opposes all casinos in our state. DeGraaf himself has not received campaign contributions directly from Kansas Star Casino.