Reps work to bring gaming back to Southeast Kansas

Cities along Route 66 in southeast Kansas could see new casinos if new legislation is passed.

Cities like Galena and Riverton all sit along Route 66 which senators from our area say have potential to bring revenue from casinos.

Since 2007 Southeast Kansas made the requirement for casino investors to pay a minimum $250 million to invest in casinos.

Investors have struggled to find that money to place casinos in Cherokee and Crawford counties.

Senate Bill 215, introduced by Pittsburg senator Jake LaTurner hopes to bring gaming sites back to Cherokee and Crawford counties by lowering the investment rate to $50 million.

Sites like Camptown Greyhound Park have been closed in Crawford County for many years.

Area officials are hoping if the legislation passes the track may reopen.

“It was very disappointing in the past,” says Doug Gatewood, the former representative for Kansas District 1. “I know that Penn National tied the southeast and south central zones together, and we’re seeing hopefully the tracks won’t go that way. We have a track in Frontenac that we would like to see open up.”

Officials from Cherokee and cCawford counties still support bringing gaming back to the counties despite the recent lawsuit with Penn National.