he Kansas Supreme Court on September 20 declined to hear a challenge filed by Attorney General Paul Morrison, remanding the matter to Shawnee County District Court.
The Democratic governor, who spoke to Reuters after addressing a New School forum, added: "Can I control the timetable? No. But that's what my legal counsel says."
Both Morrison and Sebelius had hoped to expedite a final ruling on the constitutionality of the gambling statute by taking it directly to the high court. A ruling upholding the law would clear the way for casino investments.
Morrison's spokeswoman Ashley Anstaett said the district court has not yet set oral arguments in the case. The lawsuit asked the state's high court to determine whether the gambling legislation, signed into law in April by Sebelius, adhered to a Kansas constitutional amendment allowing a state-owned and operated lottery.
The statute expanded gambling beyond racetracks and American Indian-owned casinos by allowing four state-owned casino complexes if voters in targeted counties approve the facilities.
Voters in Wyandotte, Ford, Crawford, Sumner and Cherokee counties have approved expanded gambling, while Sedgwick County, which includes Wichita, rejected gambling measures.
The casinos and the addition of slot machines at existing racetracks were expected to raise millions of dollars annually for the state and local governments.