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Kansas Expected To Step Up Gray-Area Enforcement

Posted On: 1/6/2012

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gray-area games, video gambling, Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission, illegal videogame, Richard Petersen-Klein, Hollywood Casino, Kansas City Speedway, coin machine

KANSAS CITY, KS -- The Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission is expected to crack down hard on illegal videogame gambling statewide later this year, according to KRGC's former executive director, Richard Petersen-Klein, who spoke to the Kansas City Star.

With only two KRGC inspectors to police gray-area gaming statewide, Kansas has lagged in enforcement. KRGC staff has been too busy preparing for the planned Feb. 3 opening of the state-owned Hollywood Casino at Kansas City Speedway.

But Petersen-Klein said once the casino opens, the racing and gaming commission may join forces with other state agencies to begin more vigilant policing of the gray market.

State governments typically become more aggressive about policing gray games after casinos are legalized because officials seek to defend the state's tax revenues from "legal" gambling against "illegal" competition.

Kansas officials don't have "the faintest idea" how many gray games are in operation statewide, the newspaper reported, but the machines could rake in "hundreds of millions of dollars" in untaxed revenues each year.

State and local officials reportedly receive about 200 complaints a year regarding gray games, according to Petersen-Klein, but police and inspectors have typically seized fewer than 60 of the devices.