Archive for Friday, January 11, 2008

Gambling decisions are ‘not for sale,’ leader says

State-sponsored casinos could open in 2010

January 11, 2008


Kansas to open first state-sponsored casinos

As Kansas moves toward state-sponsored casino gambling, officials pledged to keep a close -- and clean -- eye on the proceedings. Enlarge video

A state gambling official says Kansans can expect slot machines spinning at The Woodlands in Wyandotte County sometime in July or August, and full-fledged state-sponsored casinos up and running sometime in 2010.

Stephen Martino, executive director of the Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission, also says that nothing would be left to chance in the process for choosing precisely which companies will get the exclusive contracts to build, develop and operate such state-sponsored gambling centers.

"This process is not for sale," Martino said. "It's going to be squeaky clean."

Martino, a Kansas University graduate, visited Lawrence on Thursday to discuss his agency's approach to reviewing companies' applications for developing casinos in the state.

The applications - 13 in all - are being reviewed by the Kansas Lottery, which is negotiating with operators before their proposals are forwarded to a review board for consideration.

The review board, with staff assistance from the commission, can recommend no more than one project for each of the state's identified gambling zones: Wyandotte, Ford, Sumner and Cherokee counties.

The recommended projects then would go to the commission staff for review, including extensive background checks.

And make no mistake, Martino said: There's plenty at stake. One project proposed for Wyandotte County would carry a $700 million price tag.

Whichever companies end up landing the deals also will get some guaranteed return, in the form of a 25-year period in which no other nontribal gambling operator would be able to set up shop in their respective areas.

"There is a great deal of money involved in the process," Martino said.


warthog 10 years, 1 month ago

This is their grand plan for reviving the state's economy? I guess now that folks won't have to go out of state to spend their social security checks. Or maybe it's their wonderful idea of adding another 50 cent tax on cigarettes and then making it illegal to smoke. Good thinking.

BigDog 10 years, 1 month ago

Exactly warthog ..... this is Kansas government economic development.

They would hate to do any kind of economic development ... like development around any of the lakes in the state .... of course we don't need to attract people into the state when you are going to have casinos and we already have the largest ball of twine and largest prairie dog.

Dale Stringer 10 years, 1 month ago

Looks like the NE zone is all buddy-buddy compared to the bitter back-stabbing stuff going on in Sumner county.

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