July 03, 2008 –
The Kansas Supreme Court ruled in a unanimous decision on June 27 that the state has the right to own and operate their own casinos which will create more competition for the Prairie Band Casino & Resort (PBCR).
In response to the ruling, Tribal Chairman Steve Ortiz said, “The Tribal Council is disappointed but we want our Nation’s members to know that we already have a world class casino and plan to keep it that way as a means of staying competitive in the growing market.” Ortiz also said that when the new state casinos are projected to open in 2010 that the PBCR will be more than ready when that time comes.
Presently eleven U.S. gaming companies are vying to develop and manage one of the four destination casinos and slot machines at horse and dog tracks that are planned forWyandotte, Sumner, Ford and Cherokee counties. The Kansas Lottery Gaming Facility Review Board, a group comprised of members from the Kansas Lottery, which is the gaming arm of the state, is in the process of making the casino selections which should be finalized later this year.
The State legislature passed the expanded gaming law in April 2007 but opponents, like the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation, questioned its constitutionality. In order to ensure a clear opinion of the law, Gov. Kathleen Sebelius had the Kansas Attorney General’s office challenge the law through a lawsuit filed in August. Shortly after that time, the Court decided to make no decision and threw it to Shawnee County District Court who declared the law constitutional on February 1, 2008. It was then appealed back to the Kansas Supreme Court who rendered their decision last week.
The State expects to reap millions of dollars to help with economic growth and infrastructure costs.