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Casino contract sets out scenarios

The number of games and amenities Sumner County's state-owned casino ultimately will offer visitors now depends on if and when a tribal casino opens in Park City, according to terms of its new contract with the Kansas Lottery.

The Lottery commission on Wednesday approved amendments that allow developers of the Chisholm Creek Casino Resort to phase in additional restaurants, entertainment venues and gambling devices based on a Park City casino proposed by the Wyandotte Nation of Oklahoma.

The contract also formalizes an agreement Chisholm Creek had with Double Down Development of Topeka to build a hotel at the site, near the Mulvane exit off the Kansas Turnpike.

The revised contract will be sent next week to the Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission then given to the state's casino review board.

A racing and gaming commission spokesman said the contract would be considered by the state's casino review board within 60 days after it receives the contract, although the board would have the option of requesting a 60-day extension from Gov. Mark Parkinson.

If the board votes to approve the contract, which is the only contract it will consider, the racing and gaming commission would conduct background checks on Chisholm Creek before giving final approval.

"Obviously we are pleased to reach an agreement on the amendment to the contract," Kansas Lottery executive director Ed Van Petten said in a written statement. "We feel that this improves the chances of success for Chisholm Creek Casino and the State of Kansas."

Negotiations have been under way since early December, when Chisholm Creek asked the review board for time to change its original contract after learning that it might face competition from the Wyandotte casino.

That project has been pending for years. The tribe is awaiting federal approval of an application to have its site, 10.5 acres in Park City, taken into trust for gambling purposes.

Chisholm Creek is obligated to begin operating its casino in Sumner County within 18 months of final approval of the new contract.

The facility must be at least 72,000 square feet and include at least 1,300 slot machines, 40 table games and a 200-seat restaurant.

After that, developers would be allowed to phase in additional gaming and amenities depending on the tribal casino.

The contract defines the tribal casino as a facility that operates more than 500 gaming devices and sits on the specific 10.5 acres of land in Park City that the Wyandotte Nation has asked to be taken into trust.

The contract offers several scenarios for the Chisholm Creek casino to proceed.

They include:

* If the tribe opens a Park City casino within five years of the opening of the Chisholm Creek casino, Chisholm Creek has 12 years to build a casino with a total of 1,700 slot machines, 50 gaming tables, three additional restaurants, 50 additional hotel rooms and 10,000 square feet of convention space.

* If the tribe doesn't begin operating a casino within five years, Chisholm Creek has seven years to add fewer amenities — 200 slots, a 250-seat buffet, an additional 30-seat cafe and a 125-seat entertainment venue.

* If the tribe doesn't begin operating a casino within 10 years of Chisholm Creek's opening, Chisholm Creek would be obligated to have within 12 years a total of 2,000 slots, 50 table games, two additional restaurants, a 150-room hotel, a 17,000-square-foot convention center and a 30,000-square-foot entertainment venue.

Other scenarios spell out future phases if a tribal casino does or doesn't open between five and 10 years of the Chisholm Creek opening.

A chart showing all scenarios can be found on the Lottery's Web site, kslottery.com.

The revised contract also holds Chisholm Creek to its agreement with Double Down Development to construct and operate a hotel with at least 100 rooms, including luxury suites, as well as a swimming pool, and at least 5,000 square feet of meeting and conference facilities.

The agreement with Double Down was reached after the original contract had been signed.

Chisholm Creek's partners include Och-Ziff Real Estate of New York, which would own 50 percent of the project; Clairvest Group of Canada with 33 percent; and Lakes Entertainment of Minnesota with 17 percent.

They would have up to 12 years to meet the state-mandated $225 million minimum investment in infrastructure for the project. The cost of the hotel would be included as part of that investment.

The new contract includes a list of items it defines as "infrastructure" that would count toward the minimum investment.

That's unique to Chisholm Creek's contract. Casino contracts in the three other gambling zones in Kansas don't define infrastructure because they call for investments that easily exceed the state minimum, while Chisholm Creek's contract "cut it closer to the bone," said Keith Kocher, the Lottery's gaming facilities director.

In addition to highways and utilities, for example, infrastructure at Chisholm Creek would include the purchase of games and computer software.

If the tribal casino is built in Park City, any upgrades and improvements in the gaming equipment, computers and software at Chisholm Creek also would be defined as infrastructure.

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