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Archive for Saturday, February 6, 2010

State casino fears tribal competition in Sumner County

February 6, 2010

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— Concerns about a proposed tribal casino in Park City may scuttle plans for a Sumner County casino.

After two months of contract negotiations with the Kansas Lottery, developers of the Chisholm Creek Casino Resort near Mulvane remain concerned about possible competition from the tribal casino, the lottery’s executive director, Ed Van Petten, said Thursday.

“We have agreed to a few safeguards in that regard, but I don’t know we’re going to get to the point where they’re completely comfortable going ahead or not,” he said.

Negotiations could be done by the middle or end of next week. If developers don’t reach a contract agreement with the state, they can’t build the casino. The lottery then would reopen bidding in the south-central gaming zone, Van Petten said. That could mean a delay of at least 18 months.

Chisholm Creek partners include Och-Ziff Real Estate of New York, which would own 50 percent of the project; Lakes Entertainment of Minnesota, with 17 percent ownership; and Clairvest Group of Canada with 33 percent.

Negotiations have been under way since early December, when developers asked for more time just as the state’s gaming board was to vote on a contract.

Chisholm Creek has planned a $225 million casino at the Mulvane exit off the Kansas Turnpike. It has said it would open a $125 million first phase by September 2011.

That phase would feature 1,300 slot machines and 30 gaming tables, a buffet, restaurant, multi-function entertainment venue and an EMS facility. A third party was to open a hotel within six months of the casino opening.

The original contract had come for a vote by the Lottery Gaming Facilities Review Board on Dec. 1. Before the vote, Chisholm Creek asked that the board send it back to the lottery, which would own the casino, for more negotiations. It cited plans by the Wyandotte Tribe of Oklahoma to build a casino in Park City as the main reason.

Financial consultants hired by the state had said a tribal casino in Park City would seriously affect Sumner County’s casino. One consultant estimated it would lower the revenue at Chisholm Creek by 21.5 percent.

A tribal casino wouldn’t pay money to the state. A Sumner County casino would be required by state law to pay 22 percent of its gambling revenue to the state, and 5 percent to local governments and a problem gambling fund.

The Wyandotte Tribe’s plans are no closer to reality than they were in December. The tribe, which has owned 10.5 acres near Park City since 1992, has applied to the Department of the Interior to have the land put in trust for gaming purposes. The application was filed in 1996 and updated in 2006.

A representative of the Wyandotte said the tribe is still waiting to hear from the Interior Department about its application.

Comments

Mark Kostner 4 years, 7 months ago

Can any Indian tribe build a casino anywhere in Kansas now? If the Oklahoma Wyandottes can build a casino in Park City, can the Navajos, Sioux, Cheyennes, Seminoles, Mohawks, and every tribe coast to coast come in? And since these are out of state tribes and obviously off-rez, do the state and localities get any of the money? The other question I have is Sedgwick County voted no to casinos in the past. If a casino can be built there, can every county potentially have one? If tribal casinos can locate anywhere, the state owned casino plan may be toast.

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