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Kansas readies casino license votes

May 27, 2008 7:00 PM

Industry Insider by Ray Poirier | The Kansas Lottery Commission will vote this week on casino contracts for Wyandotte, Ford and Sumner counties.

Competition for the licenses has been fierce pitting some of the industry’s biggest names against each other. In Sumner County, a partnership involving MGM MIRAGE Inc. (MGM) and Foxwoods Casino Resort is battling a group that includes Harrah’s Entertainment.

Also involved are Marvel Gaming of Las Vegas, formed by the Binion Family Trust, and Penn National Gaming Inc. (PENN) that already has been granted a license for Cherokee County.

In Wyandotte County, there are five applicants while Ford County has received the interest of two groups.

Lottery officials indicated they won’t vote on the applications until their staff can certify that applicants have signed agreements.

Ed Van Petten, lottery executive director, said only one casino seeker had reached an agreement with the board but he felt at least another five would sign an agreement before the May 27 deadline.

One of the problems, apparently, was the percentage of revenue the state will get. The law calls for a minimum of 22% but lottery officials are hoping to negotiate a higher percentage.