Clock is Ticking for Opponents of “Kansas Crossing” Casino

Clock is Ticking for Opponents of “Kansas Crossing” Casino
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Southeast Kansas residents say the battle for a new casino in the area is not over. But time is running out.

The Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission must make the decision whether to accept the Kansas Lottery Gaming Facility Review Board’s recommendation for “Kansas Crossing” casino on Thursday.

In an unprecedented move, the Cherokee County Commission asks the Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission to reject the review board’s recommendation for “Kansas Crossing” casino just days before a final decision must be made.

Cherokee County Commissioner Richard Hilderbrand says “I hope that they review it and they look at it and look at the numbers and see the obvious that yeah they did not follow KELA, reject the recommendation, and start the process over.”

Hilderbrand contests the review board did not follow the guidelines set out in the Kansas Expanded Lottery Act.

Cherokee County commissioners ask in their eight page formal appeal to the Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission to simply not rubber stamp the review board’s recommendation for “Kansas Crossing” casino.

Online petitioners also take a similar stance.

“I don’t believe fits the definition of a destination casino. The location just does not seem right. if you’re wanting to bring in out of state dollars what better location would there be than right by the interstate,” says Online petitioner Fred Billingsley.

But Pittsburg’s City Manager says “Kansas Crossing” is a good choice for the state.

Daron Hall says “When you have it at the intersection of two highways in the state of Kansas in an area that’s not right across the street from another stat, I think it gives you an opportunity to you know perform, and compete and keep that money home and employ a lot of Kansans.”

If “Kansas Crossing” is accepted by the Gaming and Racing Commission the city of Pittsburg, Crawford County, and Cherokee county will receive about $300,000 a year in revenue. But petitioners contest there are better options on the table.

“You know, yes it is going to be offering one percent to Cherokee county, to Crawford County, to the city of Pittsburg but which would you rather have, 1% of a dollar or 1% percent of ten dollars.”

READ the Cherokee County Commission’s appeal and the Online Petition to “Reject the Kansas Crossing Contract.”