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Kansas Lottery to Re-Open Casino Bids in the South Central and Northeast Zones

On December 15th, 2008, citing the weakening economy, the developer of the Hard Rock Casino and Hotel at the Kansas Speedway withdrew their casino application because they need the option to phase in the building of the hotel, convention center and other parts of the project. The Kansas Entertainment LLC, a joint collaboration between the Kansas Speedway Development Corporation and the Cordish Company, said that when Kansas reopens the casino bidding, it intends to reapply to construct the $400 million Hard Rock-branded casino.

The developer requested a refund of the $25 million privilege fee it paid last year and the Kansas Lottery is processing the refund of the cash, according to a statement released by the state. In a letter to the executive director of the Kansas Lottery, Ed Van Petten, Kansas Entertainment executive Joseph Weinberg stated that the worsening economic conditions required the opportunity to phase in the construction of the non-gaming retail and hotel facilities in case the financial markets do not improve soon.

Weinberg wrote that they recognize the chance for phasing that they require is not allowed within their present agreement. He added that they are fully committed to the chance to construct a first class casino facility to the state and the Wyandotte County, along with the hope of realigning of a 2nd NASCAR Sprint Cup Race and the building of a road course at the Kansas Speedway. Van Petten said that the casino developer's withdrawal is another unfortunate effect of the financial crisis that has affected the economic markets and affected the gambling industry hard.

Van Petten said that they are confident that they can find a manager that can construct a destination casino in Wyandotte County. Kansas Entertainment received the contract from the Kansas Lottery Gaming Facility Review Board on September 19th, 2008. The overall casino project is estimated to cost around $705.6 million and would overlook the second turn of the speedway. The 1st phase of the project, which was scheduled to debut in 2009, would offer 3,000 slot machines and 100 casino gaming table and would operation during the building of the casino-hotel-entertainment facility.

When completed, the Hard Rock Casino facility will include a three hundred room luxury hotel, which has fifty suites, 3,000 slot machines and 140 gaming tables; 275,000 square feet of retail, dining and entertainment area, including a live music venue. There is also a destination spa and fitness area with an indoor and outdoor pool; and a one hundred thousand square feet of meeting and convention area. The Kansas Lottery Commission will discuss the reopening of the casino bids in the South Central and Northeast zones when it reconvenes.


02/01/2009 19:01 PM
Richard Kennedy