Kansas casino under construction could be headed to the courts
March 17, 2011
The Kansas Star casino, which was approved for development by Peninsula Gaming LLC in January by the Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission and is already under construction, would be headed for the courts if a Kansas house panel has its way.
HR 6015, passed by the panel this week, states that proper zoning and permits were not obtained by Peninsula before the project’s final approval, and that allegations that one of the principals in Peninsula Gaming illegally contributed cash to a legislator in Iowa need to be cleared up, citing state law that a gaming executive has to be cleared of wrongdoing before a contract in Kansas can be signed. The resolution also states that the 2007 Kansas state gaming law compromises legislators’ First Amendment rights by prohibiting them from speaking out about casinos.
"This is an effort by the committee to get rid of the cloud hanging over the casino regarding a number of different questions," said Rep. Steve Brunk, R-Bel Aire, told the Wichita Eagle. A number of casino proponents, however, have called the measure nothing more than politically-motivated delaying tactics.
Should the measure pass the full House the Attorney General would be required to file a lawsuit that would challenge the Commission’s decision. A Senate vote would not be required. Construction on the project, however, would be allowed to continue.
Located just off the Mulvane exit on the Kansas Turnpike in the south central portion of the state, the $160 million casino featuring 2,000 slots and 50 gaming tables would bring an estimated 1,400 jobs to Sumner County. A temporary casino is expected to open next February with the permanent facility open by January 2013.
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