Through history, Kansas has imposed prohibition, fought teaching of evolution, been at the center of the abortion debate, and banned any lottery – broadly covering slots and table games.Now, old fashioned morality has taken a back seat to financial woes.  Kansas is going into the casino business.  Not just permitting the building of casinos and relying on taxes from them, they’ll actually be the owners of the new casinos.

Developers will pay for the right to build and operate the casino.But they’ll be under contract with the state lottery.  The state will own the games, control the software, and be able to overrule decisions made by casino management.Contracts will spell out the division of revenue.

To change the constitution for the casinos, they would need a two thirds majority vote.  Conservatives have generally blocked anything having to do with commercial casinos.  But state ownership through the lottery doesn’t require a constitution change, since it was already amended in 1986 to allow for the lottery.  This new law required simple majority approval in both chambers.  In 2007, supporters got that approval by a narrow margin.

The state hopes to choose the developers before the end of the year.