Archive for Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Lottery chief: Deal reached on casino

February 17, 2010


— Plans for a casino south of Wichita appeared to be back on track Tuesday, less than two weeks after Kansas Lottery officials had worried that the possibility of an American Indian-run casino opening nearby would scuttle the project.

Executive Director Ed Van Petten said the lottery had a new agreement with the Chisholm Creek partnership for a $225 million hotel-and-casino complex. The partnership would build and manage the casino for the lottery, which would own the rights to the gambling and the gambling equipment, down to the dice and cards.

Chisholm Creek had agreed a contract with the lottery to build the complex at a site near Mulvane, about 20 miles south of Wichita, but in December, just before a state review board was to vote on the project, the partnership asked for time to revise its plans.

Chisholm Creek officials have said they are concerned about the Wyandotte Nation’s long-standing pursuit of a rival casino north of Wichita. The northeast Oklahoma tribe bought 10 acres of land in 1992 and has been waiting for more than a decade for U.S. Interior Department approval of gambling on the site.

Earlier this month, Van Petten expressed doubts that the lottery and Chisholm Creek could draft a new agreement because the competition from a Wyandotte Nation casino would erode Chisholm Creek’s revenue. He said Tuesday that the new terms included a provision offering the partnership some protection if the tribe built its casino as planned.

Van Petten said the Kansas Lottery Commission would consider a proposed contract between the lottery and Chisholm Creek during a meeting today. If the commission approves it — as expected — a state review board will determine this spring whether the project goes forward.

“I am ecstatic,” Van Petten told The Associated Press. “We finally have an agreement that we can all live with.”

Chisholm Creek attorney John Frieden said the partnership was still reviewing the final documents for an agreement.

Doug Spangler, a Wyandotte Nation lobbyist, didn’t return a telephone message.

Kansas would receive 22 percent of the net gambling revenues from the Wichita-area casino, but no revenues from the Wyandotte venture.


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