Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Kansas Chooses Two Of The Four Casino Developers: Mohegan Will Learn Its Fate In Mid-September

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Kansas' Lottery Gaming Facility Review Board has selected two of the four casino developers under its plan to have a megacasino complex in four distinct regions of the state.

Penn National Gaming was chosen for Cherokee County and Harrahs Entertainment was chosen for Sumner County. The Mashantucket Pequots' casino arm pulled out of the bidding contest for a casino in Sumner County citing low rates of return if it were to be the chosen developer/manager.

The Mohegan Tribe is involved in a partnership (Legends Sun $767 million proposal) seeking a casino in the Wyandotte County-Kansas City region of the state. The other three bidders and their proposed casinos' development costs are Pinnacle ($624 million), Golden Heartland Inc ($630 million) and Kansas Speedway ($705 million).

Hearings will be held for Wyandotte and Ford County on September 2nd and 3rd and a decision will be made for these counties on September 18th and 19th.

Kansas is the only state that mandates that casinos will be state-owned and the state would receive at least 22 percent of the gambling revenue. A Kansas Supreme Court confirmed in a June ruling that the state would own and operate the casinos. The casino developers/managers would be given 15-year management contracts.

The state review board has the option of rejecting all applicants and sending their proposed contracts back to the Kansas Lottery for more negotiations. Applicants would still have to go through background checks by the Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission.