Cherokee County had earlier filed a temporary injunction as it wanted to stop a casino from being constructed in Crawford County. However, a Kansas city judge denied the county’s request stating that the Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission had invested more than 30 hours of hearing and debating before deciding to award the a license to the Crawford county casino. Judge Larry Hendricks also informed Cherokee county that the board had also enlisted the services of independent experts before making its decision and hence the court would stand behind the board’s decision of awarding a license to Crawford.
The board had received three proposals for consideration. One was from Cherokee County, another from Crawford county and the third one was from Las Vegas billionaire Phil Ruffin who wanted to construct a casino near Frontenac.
The biggest proposal was for the Cherokee county casino which was to be called the Castle Rock Casino Resort and would cost an estimated $145 million to construct. The casino was expected to have around 1,400 slot machines, a poker room with 16 tables and another 35 table games. The proposed casino was expected to draw over one million visits each year and brothers Rodney and Brandon Steven of Wichita were willing to be the major investors into the casino.
The smallest proposal came from the Crawford casino which was to be based in Kansas Crossing. This small project would cost around $70.2 million and have around 625 slot machines and just 16 gaming tables. The casino was expected to bring in around 500,000 visitors each year. The board discussed all three proposals in detail before deciding to award the license to the Kansas Crossing casino.
Cherokee County was unhappy with the decision and decided to file a lawsuit against the Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission; the Lottery Gaming Facility Review Board and its members; the Kansas Lottery and its executive director; and Kansas Crossing Casino. The county was disappointed with the decision and the chairman of the Cherokee County Commission, Richard Hilderbrand stated that the county would evaluate what should be their next course of action and then proceed accordingly.
Dennis McKinney, chairman of the Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission was pleased with the ruling and said the judge’s ruling further proved that the gaming commission had made the right decision. Bruce Christenson, who is the main investor for Kansas Crossing casino was happy with the judge’s decision and said “I hope the parties can all move forward together now, knowing that Kansas Crossing will have significant positive impact throughout the region.”