Sumner County gets third shot at casino

Rolling the dice once again, the Kansas Lottery Commission voted Friday to seek a third round of bids for a casino in Sumner County.

New applications to build and manage a state-owned casino are due to the lottery by 2 p.m. July 22.

The move comes after Chisholm Creek Casino Resort pulled out April 9 after growing skittish about potential competition from a tribal casino in Park City, pending legislation in the Kansas Legislature that might be amended to give Wichita Greyhound Park another chance to have slot machines, and confusion about zoning issues at its planned casino site near Mulvane.

To simplify and speed up the new bidding process, the lottery will offer applicants a contract template that follows contracts already approved for Dodge City and Wyandotte County casinos.

"We've negotiated something in the neighborhood of 20 of these contracts, so we have a pretty good idea what it is we want to see in these contracts, what we're willing to accept, and what we can accept under the law," said Keith Kocher, the lottery's gaming facilities director.

That will allow bidders to focus on what will differentiate their applications from the others, he said.

Several applicants from the two prior rounds in Sumner County have expressed interest in making new bids for casinos in Wellington and Mulvane.

The lottery also wants applicants to offer incentives above the 22 percent that casinos must give to the state from their gambling revenue, Kocher said.

That may be important to the state's review board in choosing the winning contract, he said.

The lottery will post revised application and review procedures, along with the revised application, on its website, kslottery.com, on Wednesday.

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