Kansas to decide on proposed casino

TOPEKA, Kan. — A regulatory commission in Kansas is facing a key decision about a proposed state-owned casino south of Wichita only a day after new Gov. Sam Brownback appointed a new chairman for the panel.

The state Racing and Gaming Commission was scheduled to meet Friday to consider a background check on Peninsula Gaming, of Dubuque, Iowa, which hopes to build and operate the casino for the Kansas Lottery in Sumner County. The commission’s approval of the background check is the last regulatory hurdle Peninsula must clear to begin its $260 million project. Approval also would allow the state to keep a $25 million fee that Kansas law requires the casino developer to pay.

Brownback announced Thursday that he’d replaced the commission’s chairwoman, former state Rep. Carol Sader, of Prairie Village, who’d led it since 2005 and remains on the commission. Brownback’s choice for chairman was William Falstad, of Fredonia, the former president of a printing company who’s served on the commission since 2005.

Brownback, who took office Monday, told The Topeka Capital-Journal in December that he had “real qualms” about Peninsula being chosen for the project because of misdemeanor criminal charges against the firm and two executives in Iowa — charges the executives say are unfounded.

But the new governor’s staff said he’s not interfering in the commission’s decision, and his budget recommendations assume the state claims the $25 million fee from the casino developer by July 1. Aides didn’t say why Brownback demoted Sader, though Kansas law gives the governor the right to pick the chairman.

In his announcement Thursday, Brownback said of Falstad, “His experience on the commission and understanding of state racing and gaming laws will serve the commission well.”

Brownback also said Neysa Thomas would continue to serve as the commission’s acting executive director, having replaced Patrick Martin, who’d held the job in the final months of outgoing Gov. Mark Parkinson’s administration.

Peninsula wants to build its casino complex off the Kansas Turnpike in Mulvane, about 18 miles south of Wichita. A state review board, separate from the Racing and Gaming Commission, picked the Peninsula project over one proposed by Global Gaming Solutions, an Ada, Okla., firm owned by the Chickasaw Nation. Global’s site was near Wellington, an additional 14 miles to the south of Wichita.

In a column Sunday in The Wichita Eagle, prominent gambling opponents called upon the commission to reject Peninsula’s background check or delay a decision, based on the legal issues facing the company and its executives in Iowa. The gambling foes also urged people to contact the commission.

Peninsula, CEO Brent Stevens and Chief Operating Officer Jonathan Swain are charged in Iowa with violating campaign finance laws, accused of making contributions in the names of others to former Iowa Gov. Chet Culver’s unsuccessful re-election campaign last year. The case is scheduled to go to trial in June. The executives say they and the company have committed no wrongdoing and look forward to having the matter resolved in their favor.

The Racing and Gaming Commission regulates each casino operated by a private developer for the Kansas Lottery under a 2007 law that allowed only a single project in each of four regions. The lottery owns the rights to the new gambling and the gambling equipment, down to the cards and dice, and the state claims 22 percent of the revenues.

The first state-owned casino opened in Dodge City in December 2010, and another is under construction at Kansas Speedway, the NASCAR track in Kansas City, Kan. The south-central Kansas casino must be built in Sumner County and not in Wichita itself because Sedgwick County voters rejected the idea. A casino is permitted in the state’s southeast corner, but the lottery has no proposals.

Holiday Parade Lights Up Downtown Summerlin
Holiday parade lights up Downtown Summerlin every Friday and Saturday night through Dec. 22.
Nevada's solar industry on the rebound
In 2015, the Nevada Public Utilities Commission voted in favor of a new tariff structure that reduced net energy metering buyback rates and increased fix fees for residential solar customers.
Apartment complexes selling fast in Las Vegas
Las Vegas’ apartment vacancy rate is among the smallest in the country, and rents are climbing faster than the national average. (LVRJ)
Aristocrat Opens $45M Campus In Summerlin
Aristocrat Technologies Chairman Ian Blackburne discusses the company's growth. (LVRJ)
Sunrise Hospital celebrates 60 years
Sunrise Hospital opened its doors to patients on Dec. 15, 1958. Employees of more than 35 years celebrated at a luncheon Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018. Jessie Bekker/ Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Maya Cinemas to open soon in North Las Vegas
Moctesuma Esparza, CEO of Maya Cinemas, talks about the newest location in North Las Vegas, set to open Jan. 10. The aim of the theatre chain is to serve latino-centric, underserved communities.
Holiday shopping and returns make this the busiest time of year for UPS
The UPS Las Vegas South facility is the company's busiest pre-load operation in the country, and it's even busier this time of year. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Primm’s outlet mall has fallen on hard times
The mall, attached to Primm Valley Resort, opened in 1998. Back then, it was a “textbook, perfect outlet-center location." But now, Primm’s outlet mall has fallen on hard times. Las Vegas Boulevard has endless shopping spots. And there are other outlet malls that don’t require a hefty drive to the state line. Its mortgage-holder foreclosed on the mall in late September.
Miltary auction at Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers
Humvees, ammo cans, construction equipment, field gear and more is on the auction block Friday and Saturday at Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers. About 10,000 items in all are for sale in what GovPlanet bills as the largest auction of its kind.
Las Vegas residents discuss avoiding holiday scams
Las Vegas residents discuss their donation habits and how they avoid giving money to scam charities during the holiday season. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Tesla’s Nevada Gigafactory ahead of economic impact expectations
The Tesla Gigafactory’s economic impact on Nevada has exceeded projections, bringing in more than 7,000 jobs. In 2014, Nevada agreed to give the automotive and energy company $1.3 billion in tax abatements. In return, Tesla promised to meet certain requirements in areas like employment and capital investment. As of June, Tesla has brought in a total of $6.05 billion in capital investment, surpassing the $4.95 billion projection. The original contract gave the company until 2024 to make $3.5 billion in capital investments in Nevada. Derek Armstrong, deputy director of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development.
Land sales near the Las Vegas Raiders stadium
Land around the Las Vegas stadium site has been selling for high prices. A few months before the stadium’s groundbreaking, Global Trust Group acquired a 2.5-acre parcel just north of the stadium site. The property sold for $7.25 million, or $2.9 million an acre. Osprey Real Estate Capital and Huntington Hotel Group acquired a 2-acre industrial site just west of the stadium site in late November. The property sold for $6.5 million, or $3.15 million per acre. That's roughly 12 times the average price of land in the valley this year as tracked by Colliers International.
T-Mobile Tech Experience Truck parks in Toshiba Plaza at T-Mobile Arena
The Tech Experience Truck is a state-of-the-art showroom on wheels, with demonstrations that put connected drones, smart cities, augmented/virtual reality and smart tracking. The exhibit shows new wireless technology – including 5G and the Internet of Things (IoT). (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Steve Siegel, CEO of the Siegel Group, speaks about helping families and other needy residents
Steve Siegel, CEO of the Siegel Group, speaks about helping families and other needy residents to keep them from teetering off into homelessness. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vrgas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Crowds camp out for Chick-fil-A opening
Dozens of customers camped out 24 hours ahead of the 6 a.m. Thursday opening of the new Chick-fil-A on Rainbow Blvd.
Cheapest listings for sale in Las Vegas
Listed for $39,990, 585 S. Royal Crest Circle, Unit #9 is one of the cheapest homes currently listed for sale in Las Vegas. (Caroline Brehman/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM's sports betting deals
MGM Resorts International signed a sports betting sponsorship agreement with the NBA in July It was the first professional sports league to have official ties with a legal sports betting house. The deal came just two months after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a law prohibiting sports betting in most states. In October, MGM became the first gaming company to sign a sports betting partnership with the NHL. In November, MGM became the first gaming company to sign a sports betting partnership with the MLB. Financial terms of Tuesday’s deal and earlier partnerships have not been announced.
Terry Miller discusses Convention Center
Project Manager Terry Miller explains the phases of Convention Center construction.
Zappos treats their team members on Cyber Monday
Zappos rolls out a variety of food, drinks and special activities for all team members at their downtown Las Vegas headquarters for Cyber Monday. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Team Hybrid at the 2019-Model Motor Trend International Auto Show
Among the companies showing off the 2019 model cars, Team Hybrid shows off its modified cars. Las Vegas resident David David talks about the team, which is in its ninth year exhibiting at the show, and his show car.
Black Friday Shoppers at downtown Summerlin and at the Arsenal
Black Friday shoppers at downtown Summerlin and at the Arsenal. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfYe
Black Friday shopping in Las Vegas
Black Friday sale shopers express their shopping experience. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Las Vegas Livestock recycling Strip food waste
Las Vegas Livestock collects and recycles food from many Las Vegas Strip companies. (Nicole Raz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Black Friday at Fry's
Shoppers line up for deals early on Black Friday at Fry's Electronics on Las Vegas Boulevard South. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Black Friday shoppers at Best Buy at 5 am
Black Friday shoppers at Best Buy at 5 am on Nov. 23. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Black Friday - 1am Closing Time
Quiet night.
Black Friday - 12:30am - Best Buy Arroyo Crossing
Sam's Town Holiday Lighting Ceremony
On Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2018, Mystic Falls Park opened with its annual tree lighting ceremony, hosted by Boyd Gaming Executive Chairman Bill Boyd. The attraction features a Winter Wonderland theme and holiday-inspired laser light show, available daily Nov. 23 to Jan. 1. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
What Is A Smart City?
George Karayannis, vice president of CityNow, Panasonic’s smart-city arm, explains. (Nicole Raz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Walmart uses virtual reality to train employees
Walmart Academy Facilitator demonstrates the VR training program being used by Walmart stores across the country.
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like