Casino revenues down in March
Local governments’ portion of revenues from the Hollywood Casino at Kansas Speedway show that revenues were down for the month of March compared to the facility’s opening month, but officials hope to see them increase.
The city councils of Bonner Springs and Edwardsville Monday received a report from Joe Reardon, Mayor and CEO of the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kan. He reported that the county received the revenues for March last week and also discussed how revenues will be distributed.
During the presentation to the Bonner council, Reardon said that with gross gaming down in March, Bonner Springs received $51,704.39, while Edwardsville received $30,548.86.
For the casino’s opening month in February, Bonner received $70,811 and Edwardsville received $41,836.
Lew Levin, chief financial officer, for the Unified Government, said they get a single payment from the state monthly for the 3 percent of gaming revenues that local governments receive, and the Unified Government then divides that according to the interlocal agreement, keeping 1.5 percent for the county and .75 percent for Kansas City, Kan.
Of the remaining .75 percent, about 63 percent goes to Bonner Springs, while 37 percent goes to Edwardsville. The Unified Government makes those payments to the smaller cities within 30 days of receiving it from the state. Levin said Bonner and Edwardsville would receive the March revenue payments on May 10.
Because of the delay in parceling out revenues, Levin said in 2012, the cities would get nine months worth of casino revenues, estimating Bonner’s total to be around $750,000 based on payments so far, though he cautioned that it was too early to have a good estimate.
“We’re hopeful that once the casino’s fully in place and they have a little more intensive marketing, we’ll see revenue growth,” he said. “At this time, we believe it’s too early to project how it will do in the short run or the long run.”
Bonner council members asked questions about how USD 204 would be affected by casino revenues. Reardon and Levin said that the school district would benefit only from increased property and sales taxes, as about 85 to 90 percent of the value of the casino property was within the district.
They noted that increased property values could actually result in a decrease in state funding for the school district.
As part of the Unified Government’s development agreement with the casino, $500,000 of charitable funding will be split between the non-host school districts in the county — Piper, Kansas City, Kan., and Turner.