Earlier this year, developers broke ground on a new casino in Crawford County, Kansas. The $70.2 million project has been wrought with opposition from day one, and has been forced to cease construction twice already due to court filings. Another favorable ruling by the court system has allowed construction of Kansas Crossing Casino to proceed once more.
Last week, the Shawnee County District Court denied an appeal by Cherokee County and the owners of another new casino under development in southeast Kansas, Castle Rock Casino. The groups teamed up in a lawsuit against the Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission, claiming regulators had failed to follow proper procedures in awarding the site with the state’s final non-tribal gaming license.
Their efforts failed to stop construction of Kansas Crossing Casino in March, and were met with a similar result in the appellate court on June 6.
On March 31, the court ruled on two specific issues that favored the new casino in Crawford County: (1) plaintiffs had filed a motion to amend their petitions; and (2) plaintiffs had filed another motion seeking discovery. Last week, the court doubled down on that ruling, holding against the plaintiffs in both arguments.
This latest decision represents a final ruling on all issues in the Shawnee County District Court. However, (to the surprise of no one), Cherokee County and Castle Rock Casino developers are already appealing their case on the state level through the Kansas Court of Appeals.
Construction Resumes for New Casino
In the meantime, the $70.2 million Kansas Crossing Casino has resumed construction once more, and developers couldn’t be more pleased.
Spokesperson and lead investor on the new casino, Bruce Christenson, expressed his enthusiasm with the current progress. “We’re excited to move forward and continue giving job opportunities to hundreds of local Kansans,” he said.
“The project has already come a long way since the groundbreaking and it’s only a matter of time before we start giving back to the community and partnering with local vendors,” concluded Christenson.
Mayor John Ketterman of Pittsburg, KS, where the new casino is being built, was equally pleased by the court’s most recent decision. “This is the moment we’ve been waiting for,” he said. “Kansas Crossing’s impact will provide our communities with new resources that would otherwise not be possible.”
Another Victory for Kansas Crossing
This latest ruling represents yet another victory for Kansas Crossing, the first of which was it’s selection by the Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission to receive the fourth and final non-tribal license to operate a commercial casino in the state.
The $70.2 million project includes the development of a mid-sized casino and hotel near the junction of U.S. Highways 69 and 400 in Crawford County. The casino will host a total of 625 slot machines and 16 table games. The hotel, branded Hampton Inn and Suites, will feature 123 guest rooms and an entertainment complex designed to accommodate 600.
At present, the new casino is scheduled for completion in March of 2017. However, if the construction continues to be tied up by court proceedings, it could be further into next year before Kansas Crossing Casino holds it long-awaited grand opening.