Four proposals for casino operations in southeast Kansas were made to the Kansas Lottery by the time the deadline arrived at 11 a.m. Friday.
Wichita businessmen are well represented, participating in three of the four proposals submitted to the state.
“We’re confident we’ve put forth the best plan both to bring an ultimate entertainment and dining destination and to generate needed revenue for the state of Kansas and for local governments in southeast Kansas,” said Brandon Steven in a statement. He’s among the partners from Wichita and elsewhere behind Castle Rock, a $145 million proposal for a casino in Cherokee County.
“We’re optimistic that the state of Kansas will agree and choose our proposal,” Steven said in the statement issued Friday afternoon.
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A group that includes Wichita developer George Laham submitted a proposal for Kansas Crossing Casino and Hotel, a $62 million casino in Pittsburg. Some of the same parties that helped develop the Kansas Star Casino in Mulvane and the Boot Hill Casino & Resort in Dodge City are part of that application.
And Phil Ruffin is heading up a proposal for a casino at a former dog-racing track. He’s working in conjunction with the Quapaw tribe.
A fourth proposal was submitted by Missouri developer William Killian.
According to the Lottery, here are the proposals:
▪ Kansas Crossing Casino & Hotel
Applicant: Kansas Crossing Casino L.C.
Primary members: Bruce Christenson, Jonathan Swain, Natalie Schramm, Brent Stevens, George Laham
Proposed location: Pittsburg, junction of Highway 400 and Highway 69
Project name: Emerald City Casino & Resort
▪ Frontenac Development LLC
Primary members: Camptown LLC (Phillip G. Ruffin, director); Quapaw Tribe (John Berrey, president)
Proposed location: Frontenac, former Camptown Greyhound Park
▪ Castle Rock Casino Resort
Applicant: Castle Rock Casino Resort LLC
Primary members: Air Capital Gaming LLC (Rodney Steven II and Brandon Steven, owners); 5 K LLC; Crystal River Investments LLC; David Becker; Gregory Schmidt; JCB LLC; Johnny Steven; Jolly Boys Partners LLC; Joplin Holdings LLC; Michael Steven; MOECR LLC; Murfin Inc.; Robert S. Rudd; Roll It LLC; Rucker Properties LLC; SE Kansas LLC; SEK Investments LLC; Transcontinent Holding Company LLC; Gregory Ferris
Proposed location: Cherokee County, north of I-44 on U.S. Highway 400
▪ Project name to be determined
Applicant: SE Kansas Casino Partners LLC
Primary members: Killian Entertainment LLC (William F. Killian, manager)
Proposed location: Cherokee County, Exit 1 off I-44 on northeast side of Highway 400
State Lottery officials now have 90 days to review the applications and negotiate contracts with any of the applicants.
That brings the next deadline to April 30, after which the Lottery will forward the contracts to the seven-member Lottery Gaming Facility Review Board, which will act as the review board.
The review board will have up to 60 days to select the apparent successful contract.
After the review board makes its pick, the Kansas Racing & Gaming Commission will complete a background investigation within 10 days to approve or disapprove the applicant.
The state approved building four casinos, including one in Cherokee or Crawford county, in the southeast corner of the state, in 2007. The other three have since opened, but earlier casino proposals for the southeast location were withdrawn when economic times got difficult.
Last year, the state Legislature lowered the financial requirements for the southeast location and the state offered the proposal again.