Sedgwick County commissioners have dropped a proposed resolution that would have called for a vote in November on electronic gaming machines at parimutuel race tracks.
The original resolution called for a ballot question in November, but commissioner Pete Meitzner proposed instead to have a resolution prepared to submit to the governor and the Kansas legislature to allow for a vote. After more discussion, Meitzner moved to simply take the resolution off the agenda with no action, and the commission voted unanimously to support that move.
The commission heard from several residents who raised concerns about gambling and the possible return of dog racing to Sedgwick County. Former Cessna chairman Russ Meyer said the issue was decided in 2007 when residents voted against a casino and against slot machines at the Wichita Greyhound Park. The Greyhound Park closed shortly after the vote. Meyer also said most states have banned dog racing in recent years because of issues over cruelty to the animals involved.
The county received a letter from Kansas attorney general Derek Schmidt this week raising the possibility of a lawsuit if the county moved ahead with the ballot question, because there would be conflicts with state law and with state-owned casinos. Commission chairman David Dennis said he does not want to put taxpayers at risk, and it’s going to be an issue for the state to decide, not the county.