Executive Director of Kansas Lottery, Terry P. Presta, approved a request by Kansas Crossing, LC to extend the commencement date for the winning Southeast Kansas casino project by 90 days. Cherokee County and Castle Rock Casino Resort, LLC have filed cases challenging the award and approval of Kansas Crossing’s contract. Kansas Crossing, LC submitted the extension request to Kansas Lottery in mid-August.
“Unfortunately, at this time, we are stopping construction on Kansas Crossing Casino and Hotel,” Bruce Christenson, lead investor and developer of Kansas Crossing said. “I am extremely disappointed for the people of southeast Kansas and hope we can resolve this quickly.”
The State of Kansas and local governments will lose nearly $2.3 million dollars during the 90-day delay. According to state-hired consultants, Union Gaming and Will Cummings and Associates, Kansas Crossing Casino and Hotel is projected to earn $35.4 million in annual gross gaming revenue. The 90-day extension is projected to cost the State of Kansas $2,041,767, Crawford County $88,270, Cherokee County $88,270, and the City of Pittsburg $88,270 in 2016 gaming tax revenue. C-Tec (the region’s skilled trade workforce development and education center) will receive 1% of gross gaming revenue or at least $400,000 per year and will lose almost $100,000 because of the 90-day delay.
In addition, other entities which stand to lose thousands of more dollars in direct and indirect impact because of the delay include USD 250, Pittsburg State University, Crawford County Convention and Visitors Bureau, and Southeast Kansas Tourism Region.
Among the biggest losers in this delay are the people of Southeast Kansas. Kansas Crossing is projected to employ about 300 people. Kansas Crossing’s commitment to hire at least 90% of its team members locally will bring more than $8 million in annual compensation into the region. “This is bad news for our region where there is a shortage of quality jobs,” Daron Hall, Pittsburg City Manager said. “We need to capitalize on our opportunities to attract tourists, now– for the sake of local business owners and residents. Kansas Crossing was designed to have a positive impact on the entire region and this unnecessary delay affects everyone.”