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Phil Ruffin Chooses To Ignore Slots Machine's Chance

The share that Kansas would get from gaming profits endangers plans to place slot machines at racing tracks. After waiting for almost ten years for the slot machines, the Woodlands racing track may choose to turn away from the slots opportunity.

On May 6th, 2008 Phil Ruffin Sr. from Wichita said that the state's forty percent tax share on racing track slots would not leave enough money to make into a good revenue. Ruffin, who is the owner of the Camptown dog racing track in Frontenac, Kansas said that this will not work in the long run. This situation is what persuaded Ruffin to avoid the negotiations to operate the state owned slot machines located in Camptown.

The management of the Woodlands in Kansas City commented that they have reached the same decision regarding the matter. In a statement, the officials of the racing track said that they understand the decision of Mr. Phil Ruffin Sr. to back out of the negotiations with the Kansas Lottery and said that they are still studying the feasibility if the plan.

Woodlands official Larry Seckington commented that they are trying to be careful with their review so that they will do the right thing. He added that they had to be sure if this will be a favorable decision for them. For the time being, Woodlands proprietor Kansas Racing LLC, which was managed since 1999 by the Grace Family in St. Joseph, is currently in the middle of their remodeling worth $4 million if the dog racing track clubhouse into a temporary slots establishment for 800 slot machines.

The plan also calls for building a $50 million permanent slot gaming establishment beside the horse racing track, which Seckington commented that the facility can host up to 1,600 slot machines. Seckington commented that the gaming markets in Frontenac and Kansas City are different from one another so that the economic plan that is not suitable for a smaller market of southeast Kansas might be suitable for the Woodlands.

Ruffin commented that unless the state could find some way to put the slots profits, he would most likely write off the $10 million his company spent on the $25 million remodeling the racing track in Pittsburgh, which has been close down two times. Ruffin said that what made him decide on this decision is the state's insistence that he must pay the entire $12 million that will be needed to buy the racing track's six hundred electronic games, even though they will be actually owned by the state. Lottery Director Ed Van Petten commented that the state law states the tax formula and it is a requirement for casino and racetrack slot managers to shoulder all of the costs.


News Released: Thursday, 05 June 2008
Marissa Patterson