International edition
September 28, 2020

A deadline extention will move to August 28

Kansas Lottery delays decision on casino applicants

(US).- The Kansas Lottery Commission postponed its vote this week on which operating contracts for two state-owned casinos should be forwarded to a review board for the final choice.

T

he commission and the applicants mutually agreed to extend the deadline to allow more time to finish negotiating contracts, said Ed Van Petten, executive director of the Lottery.

"It's a bump in the road," he said. "I think in the end all five contracts will be presented."

The commission asked Governor Mark Parkinson for a 60-day extension of the June 30 deadline, moving it to August 28. "There is no other way to extend the deadline. I'm virtually sure he will allow it," Van Petten said, noting that last year, then-Governor Kathleen Seblius extended the Lottery's negotiating deadline.

The panel can endorse as many contracts as it wants and forward them to Lottery Gaming Facility Review Board for the final decision. The review board then has up to 120 days to decide. "We're hoping to have things worked out in two weeks, but I'm not promising that," Van Petten said. "There are totally different issues in the two zones."

The application process restarted after the two operators selected last year backed out because of the economy. There are now two applications for the operating contract in Wyandotte County and three for the one in Sumner County south of Wichita.

Van Petten said the delay in Sumner County was because the Lottery needed more information about how some applicants planned to finance their projects. He wouldn't identify the applicants, although all have said they have sufficient financing.

In Sumner County, Lakes Entertainment of Minnetonka, Minnesota, proposed a us$ 317 million facility at either the Mulvane or Wellington exits off Interstate 35.

A us$ 225 million proposal was submitted by Topeka-based South Central Gaming Partners, whose partners include Peter Simon and Robert Ensign, former executives with the Las Vegas-based Mandalay Resort Group. The proposal by Foxwoods Development Co. of St. Louis has the same price tag. Both also want the casino to be at the Mulvane exit.
"Delay is never a good thing, but you need to have time to get the contract right," South Central spokeswoman Nancy Seitz said.

Lakes Vice President Damon Schramm said the company supported the extension if the Commission needs more time "to fully understand all the nuances of each project."

In Wyandotte County, the competition is between a partnership of Kansas Speedway and Baltimore-based Cordish Co., and Penn National Gaming Inc. of Wyomissing, Pennsylvania. Van Petten said the Lottery was working out "operational issues" with both applicants. He declined to elaborate.

The Speedway partnership wants to build a us$ 521 million Hard Rock Hotel and Casino overlooking the track's Number 2 turn. Penn National wants to build a us$ 539-million Hollywood-theme casino and hotel. The Speedway proposal also includes commitments for a second NASCAR Sprint Cup race, construction of a road course in the infield and hosting of Grand-AM Rolex Sports Car races.

Under the 2007 law that created four state-owned casinos, the Kansas Lottery would own the actual gambling and those awarded the 15-year contracts build and operate the facilities for a negotiated percentage of the profits. The only casino being built so far is in Dodge City. Because of the delay, the review board canceled public hearings June 29-30 in Sumner County and July 1 in Wyandotte County. New dates was will scheduled after the commission acts.

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