Kansas Now Paying For Taking Their Time With Casino Decisions
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The state of Kansas was prepared to become a player in the casino gambling industry. Once approved, four casinos would become a reality as soon as the Kansas Lottery decided on which developers would get the licenses to run those casinos.
That decision was delayed several times before the Lottery finally came around to naming the licensees. What has happened in the time these developers have had to wait could hurt the future of the casinos in the state.
It started when Penn National decided there was too much competition for them to compete, so they pulled out of their deal to run one of the four casinos. Then the economy took a turn for the worst, and things got bleaker this week for Kansas.
Harrah’s Entertainment, who had partnered to win one of the other three bids for a casino, pulled out of their agreement. The economy has gotten bad enough that Harrah’s rethought their position on bringing a casino to Kansas.
Had the Lottery moved more briskly to issue the contracts, several of these casinos could already have been in the works. Instead, the state now has two potential casinos with no developers to run them.
“Kansas took too long in coming to terms with these developers. They were assessing the situation and while they were dragging behind, the economy took a beating. Now they could be in danger of losing money in the deals they get to replace the two developers that have pulled out,” said observer Tom Brayford.