A lawsuit costing the local governments of two communities approximately $1,000 a day, has proponents of the temporarily suspended Crawford County casino project urging residents of neighboring Cherokee County to voice their displeasure over the suit.
Lawsuits claiming the Kansas Lottery’s July contract award for a southeast Kansas state-owned casino violated state law was filed this summer by the Cherokee County and Castle Rock Casino’s. The contract for the casino was awarded to the Kansas Crossing Casino & Hotel at Pittsburg even though Castle Rock’s $145 million development proposal in Cherokee County more than doubled the $70 million proposal from the competing Crawford County development.
The suit claims that the recommendation of the Pittsburg project by the Kansas Gaming Facility Review Board was the wrong decision, and that it fails to comply with a state law requirement that the award be given to the project that best serves the interests of Kansas by offering maximum revenue and encourages tourism. Both Castle Rock and Cherokee County commissioners want a judge to void the contract and the selection process started over.
Fliers urging residents to complain to their commissioners were dispersed to all Cherokee County residents in the hope that they would make their displeasure known over the estimated $970 a day gambling revenue losses caused by the temporary suspension of the Kansas Crossing casino project, information obtained on cjonline.com, according to Kansas Crossing Casino and Hotel at Pittsburg spokesperson, Carrie Tedore. The flier states, “Please tell Cherokee County commissioners that they are costing residents of Cherokee County much more than court costs and lawyers’ fees.”
Earlier this month construction of the Kansas Crossing casino was halted when the Kansas Lottery Commission issued a 90-day extension of the projects start date due to the lawsuits. The same yearly revenue of approximately $400, 000 that Cherokee County is expected to receive would be received by Crawford County and Pittsburg if and when a casino is built.
Tax losses and other economic benefits of at least $8.5 million would be felt by Cherokee County if the Kansas Crossing project is given the green light, according to the lawsuits.