Tribe can move forward with plans to expand its gaming operation in downtown Kansas City

A lawsuit by the Kansas Attorney General’s office challenging the legality of a casino in downtown Kansas City, Kan., has been dismissed by a federal judge, thus clearing the way for the Wyandotte Nation and upgrade and expand its gaming operation there.

Kansas had argued that the Oklahoma-based Wyandotte Nation bought the old Masonic Temple and land for the 7th Street Casino with federal funds not allowed for that purpose. But U.S. District Judge Richard D. Rogers ruled that the federal government’s sovereign immunity from such lawsuits rendered the case moot, and dismissed it without ruling on the money issue. Unless state officials or three competing tribes that have casinos appeal the ruling, the lawsuit is dead.

With the case over, the Wyandotte Nation plans to seek a formal compact with Kansas under federal law to upgrade its gambling operation, which has 500 Class II bingo-based slot machines, to include table games and Class III slots. The tribe spent $20 million refurbishing the temple across the street from City Hall before opening its casino in January.