At the request of Kansas Crossing Casino, Terry Presta, the executive director of the Kansas Lottery, has granted a third 90-day extension in which to open a casino in the Pittsburg area of Kansas. The extension expires May 31, 2016, according to the Wichita Business Journal.
Since winning final approval from the Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission in July, the Kansas Crossing Casino has now been granted three 90-day extensions. The facility, located in the Southeast Kansas Gaming Zone, was originally expected to be completed this summer, and then was changed to July 2017.
The first of the three 90-day extensions was requested on August 17, 2015, due to concerns over pending lawsuits filed by Castle Rock Casino and the Cherokee County Board of Commissioners regarding the awarding of the contract to Kansas Crossing. The second extension request, citing the same pending litigation concerns, was granted November 30, 2015, which pushed back the completion date for six months. Concerns over the lawsuit filed in Shawnee County Court, which names the Lottery Gaming Facility Review Board and its members; the Kansas Lottery and its executive director; and Kansas Crossing, is again the reason for the third 90-day extension. Under the law, Kansas Crossing can file an extension and request another at any time if the litigation is still pending.
According to the 557-page lawsuit, the Castle Rock Casino Resort proposal for a casino in Cherokee County was the “best” choice. Backers of the $147 million project say their proposal would have created more jobs and revenue than the two other project proposals. They also claim that awarding the contract to the smaller, approximately $72 million Kansas Crossing Casino is not in accordance with the state law. Cherokee County officials say without court intervention the county will lose at least $8.5 million in taxes and other economic benefits.
According to developers, the $70.2 million development is expected to have 625 slot machines and 16 gaming tables, and attract an estimated 500,000 visitors a year. The Kansas Crossing casino is the last of four casinos that are non-tribal allowed under the 2007 Kansas law. The casinos are owned by the Kansas Lottery and the state receives 22% of the gambling profits.