Attempts to reduce the legally required minimum investment for a casino in southeast Kansas and spur development took a hit on Monday when the Kansas House voted 70-52 not to pull the measure from the House Federal and State Affairs Committee.
The vote was the latest in a series of legislative actions that has cast a cloud of confusion over the state’s casino development policies. Today’s measure, which is designed to make a southeastern Kansas project more attractive to potential developers was co-sponsored by two Democrats, but some Republicans pushing a resolution that would require the state’s Attorney General to review the legality of Peninsula Gaming’s Mulvane project south of Wichita want that issue resolved first. They are also questioning the constitutionality of the state’s 2007 gaming law, which provides for four state-owned casinos.
Of these, one has opened in Dodge City, and a second, Hollywood Casino at Kansas Speedway, near Kansas City, is expected to open in the first half of 2012. Construction at the Mulvane project, which would be the state’s third casino, continues, with $55 million already invested, according to the Associated Press.
The fourth casino would have to be in either Crawford or Cherokee counties. The 2007 law mandates that the developer building it for the state invest a minimum of $225 million. The capital reduction measure, which has still yet to have a hearing in Committee, would reduce that amount to $100 million.
Casino measure for southeast Kansas remains on hold
March 28, 2011