(Regional gaming article update with Kentucky information.)



) -- Two regional gaming markets -- Kansas and Delaware -- announced plans to expand gambling in their states late this week.

A bill was introduced in Kansas Thursday that, if passed, would allow casinos and slot machines at racetracks. Currently, developers cannot build a casino in southeast Kansas and track owners cannot install slots.

If the bill is passed, it could generate $40 million for the state within a year.

In Delaware, a bill that would allow table games in casinos was approved by House lawmakers late Thursday. The bill, which would bring games like poker and blackjack to existing casinos in Delaware, was approved with a 27-5 vote. It will now go to the state Senate.

Several regional gaming markets have recently sought to expand their operations. Earlier this month, Pennsylvania approved a bill allowing table games in casinos, and a similar bill is currently pending in Ohio.

These moves have

put pressure on traditional gaming markets

, specifically Atlantic City, N.J.

The moves are also drawing attention to smaller casino operators like

Ameristar Casinos



Penn National Gaming

(PENN) - Get Report


Isle of Capri Casinos


, which draw their revenue from markets outside of the Las Vegas strip.

Kentucky also took a step forward in its gaming plans. Senate Democrats killed legislation that would have allowed its citizens to vote, in a referendum, on any proposal that would expand gambling in the state.

Currently there are also two bills pending in the House and Senate that would legalize video slot machines at Kentucky's horse tracks without voter referendum.

The state has a history of being hesitant to expand gambling beyond its racetracks.

-- Reported by Jeanine Poggi in New York.


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