Kansas Lottery loses round in House

TOPEKA – The Kansas Lottery failed Wednesday to obtain a final nod from the House of Representatives on a comprehensive package that includes bringing instant bingo games to veteran service halls and lifting the sunset on the lottery itself.

Instead of agreeing to adopt a conference committee report that already had the Senate’s approval, the House voted to send the report for House Bill 2313 back to committee.


The Kansas Lottery has a history of sunset dates and authorized extensions by the Legislature. The next sunset is July 1, 2022, and the Kansas Lottery sought a complete lifting of future sunsets. Removing the uncertainty would make it easier for obtaining long-term agreements as the date neared, was cited as a reason.

That’s what they’ve said before other sunsets have neared, said Rep. Henry Helgerson, D-Wichita, but the sunset is good for the Legislature and the Lottery, he said.


Helgerson noted that there have been problems in the Lottery’s history, and now it plans to move into a new area of ticket sales through vending machines. A key portion of the bill allows buyers to purchase tickets from dispensing machines. It is expected to help spur a $30 million increase in annual sales. The bill also outlines the use of revenues for mental health programs.

The House earlier approved a smaller version of the Lottery bill, but Rep. John Carmichael, D-Wichita, voiced concerns Wednesday about what was added when the legislation was in a conference committee. The report coming out of that committee allowed organizations such as the American Legion and VFW to have up to two vending machines in their clubs that would dispense instant bingo games. The bingo language never received a hearing before a House or Senate committee.

Rep. Michael Houser, R-Columbus, also said he favored sending the legislation back to committee.