State board holds casino meetings

The state's casino review board today begins two days of meetings in Topeka to decide whether to build state-owned casinos in Sumner and Wyandotte counties.

The seven-member board will hear presentations by consultants and developers, as well as their responses to questions posed by board members and staff of the Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission.

The board is scheduled to vote on the proposals Wednesday.

The meetings will begin both days at 9 a.m. at the Ramada Inn, 420 SE 6th St., Topeka.

The board will consider a casino proposal for the Kansas Speedway in Wyandotte County first. It then will consider the proposed $225 million Chisholm Creek Casino Resort at the Mulvane exit of the Kansas Turnpike.

If the board votes to approve the proposals, the Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission would conduct background checks before contracts between the applicants and Kansas Lottery could be finalized.

The commission has 10 days to complete the checks, but is likely to ask for a 60-day extension from Gov. Mark Parkinson.

A "no" vote on either contract would send it back to the lottery for more negotiation.

If the new negotiations fail, the lottery would start the bidding process over in that zone. If the negotiations succeed, the lottery would return the contracts to the review board with a new 60-day timeline.

The board also could vote to delay a decision. It has until Dec. 28, which is the ultimate deadline created when Parkinson granted an extension in late September.

In Sumner County, Minnesota-based Lakes Entertainment and a pair of private equity firms plan a $225 million Chisholm Creek Casino Resort at the Mulvane exit of the Kansas Turnpike.

An initial $125 million investment would result in facility with 1,300 slot machines, 30 gaming tables, a law enforcement and emergency services building, a 250-seat buffet, a 30-seat cafe, and a 125-seat entertainment and restaurant featuring a steak house, sports bar and a live-music venue. Lakes has said the facility would expand as the market allows.

A hotel built by a Topeka developer would open at least six months after the casino opens in September 2011, they have said.