Officials in Pittsburg say they are not concerned with the looming court ruling regarding Kansas’s June decision to award a state-owned casino license to the city.
Earlier this year Kansas Crossing Casino was selected over Castle Rock Casino developers who hoped their bid and plan to invest $147 million in a casino in Cherokee County would trump the formers. The decision was opposed by Cherokee County Commissioners and a temporary injunction stopping construction on the casino to be built at the intersection of Highway 69 and Highway 400 was filed with the Shawnee County Court. Cherokee County’s proposed casino, Castle Rock Casino, has echoed the action and has also filed suit against the state’s decision. In August the county tried to obtain an injunction stopping the casino’s construction but was denied by a Kansas judge.
The case will be decided in January, according to Pittsburg City Manager Daron Hall. The city manager added that considering the city has never had a casino, another day without one wouldn’t be a challenge. Hall said, “Whether we have a casino or not isn’t going to make or break Pittsburg. It’s definitely something we’d like to have though. Maybe anxious is a better word than concerned. We want to see it happen, according to fourstateshomepage.com.
In addition to the pending litigation, commissioners for Cherokee County signed an agreement with Penfield Business Centers, which owns the location where the Castle Rock casino would have been built. Per the agreement, the county’s legal fees, estimated at approximately $150,000 to date, would be paid by Penfield managing partner Gary Hall. The legal fees would have to be repaid within two years by commissioners if a casino is built in Cherokee County, but if that doesn’t happen the funds won’t have to be repaid.
Due to the pending litigation, Kansas Crossing stopped the development of the property on its own, and the Lottery Commission has accepted an extension request postponing the commencement date from July 2016 to October. While a small legal victory was won by the casino a few weeks ago regarding “discovery” procedures, Kansas Crossing says site construction will remain on pause at least until the end of November when a report on the lawsuit’s status is delivered to the Kansas Lottery. That will give them sufficient time to decide whether to seek another 90 day extension.