Archive for Thursday, July 2, 2009

Kansas Lottery requests casino contract extension

July 2, 2009

Last-minute changes recently forced the Kansas Lottery to request an extension to their deadline for approving contract agreements with potential managers of a state-owned and -operated casino in Wyandotte County.

In a special teleconference Thursday, June 25, the Kansas Lottery Commission approved to give permission to Ed Van Patten, executive director of the Kansas Lottery, to seek a 60-day extension from Gov. Mark Parkinson. The original deadline for contract approvals, which are required for proposals to move on to the next stage, was June 30.

If approved by the governor, the new deadline for the contracts will be Aug. 28, however, commissioners said during the meeting that the whole 60-day period would not be needed.

At that time, if the contracts are approved, the applicants will move on to the Lottery Gaming Facility Review Board, a board that will eventually choose the successful applicant. That board has 60 days to make a decision, but more extensions are always a possibility at each stage of the process.

Keith Kocher, director of gaming facilities for the Kansas Lottery, said he could not discuss the details that were changed causing the request for an extension, but added that the proposals and the amenities they include would not be changed.

The two applicants still in the running to manage the casino are Kansas Entertainment LLC, with the Hard Rock casino at the Kansas Speedway, and Hollywood Casino Kansas, to be built near the future Schlitterbahn Vacation Village.

The Hard Rock casino would overlook Turn 2 at the Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kan. The first-phase of the new proposal calls for $390 million worth of development that would include a 100,000-square-foot gambling area, a bar and dining area, as well as other entertainment options. Along with the proposal, Speedway officials will try to get a second NASCAR Sprint Cup race to the track.

The $500 million Hollywood casino will include a 357,400-square-foot casino and a 72,500-square-foot gaming floor with 2,000 slot machines and 58 table games, a 250-room hotel, meeting space and several food and beverage outlets.

During the teleconference meeting, Kocher said the Kansas Lottery had worked “diligently and in good faith” to reach a contract agreement.

In addition to requesting an extension for the northeast facility in Wyandotte County, the commission approved Thursday to also request an extension to the contract deadline for the south central facility.

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