The Quapaw Tribe in Oklahoma announced they will be pulling out of a partnership that would seek to erect a casino in Kansas. The chairman of the tribe, John Berrey, stated on Wednesday that the tribe will no longer entertain being partners with Phil Ruffin, the developer who wishes to build a casino in SE Kansas. This is just one of three remaining plans being considered for the 4th and final state-owned lottery casino after SE Kansas Casino Partners LLC announced they were withdrawing their bid earlier this month.
The decision to pull out of the partnership came on the heels of a lawsuit seeking to block the tribe from any expansion of its Downstream Casino, located in Oklahoma. The goal was to expand across the state border into Kansas, but it is being fought by the Attorney General in Kansas.
Berrey made his decision believing that the leaders in Kansas are hostile to the proposal. Even without the support of the tribe, Kansas native, Ruffin plans to continue on track and seek a license for the proposed casino at his closed Camptown Greyhound Park in Frontenac, north of Pittsburg, Kansas.
Ruffin, who also owns the Treasure Island Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas and had partnered with Donald Trump to build the Trump International Hotel and Tower on New Frontier Casino land he owned at the time, closed the Camptown Greyhound Park after just 13 weeks of racing and closed his Witchita Greyhound Park in 2007 when when Sedgwick County voters rejected a gaming option for the park. Unlike most casino developers, Ruffin has built his empire on assets rather than debt and should not be counted out of the Kansas casino race just yet.