Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Casino Developers Chosen To Build Casinos In Kansas Want Out

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The developer that was initially chosen over a group that included the Mohegan Tribe to build a casino in the Kansas City region of Kansas said Friday that it will re-apply to build a $400 million Hard Rock casino.

Kansas Entertainment's Hard Rock Hotel & Casino at Kansas Speedway , which includes the Kansas Speedway and The Cordish Company, won the contract from the state of Kansas on September 19 to build a casino in the Wyandotte County-Kansas City region of the state. The group later pulled out of the deal but Friday's announcement was its first signal that it still wants the contract, as long as it will be allowed to phase in capital developments, such as the hotel and convention center.

The Kansas Lottery Commission will discuss on December 11 the re-opening of the bidding process in two of the four zones that will end up with casinos under a new gambling law.

It isn't likely that the Mohegans will again get involved in the contest to build a casino in Kansas. The Tribe has stated its inability at this stage to involve itself in Maryland, the next East coast state to get into the slot machine business.

The Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority's chief operating officer, Jeff Martmann, told a crowd in November at the Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas, "We probably won’t participate in Maryland because of the political process and our balance sheet. Where we are now will prohibit us from participating in Maryland."

The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino at Kansas Speedway beat out proposals by Golden Gaming Inc. and Legends Sun, made up of RED Development LLC and Mohegan Sun.

In the September selection voting, the Kansas Review Board voted for the Hard Rock proposal by a 4-3 margin. Golden Gaming got the other three votes while the Mohegan's group, Legends Sun, didn't receive any votes.

Three of the chosen developers have pulled out of deals for casinos in Kansas since September, including Kansas Entertainment, Penn National Gaming and Sumner Entertainment.