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Money woes delay Kansas Speedway casino plans

Dec 9, 2008 5:08 PM
Industry Insider by Ray Poirier | While people often wait for the proverbial "second shoe to fall," Kansas politicians have just heard the bang from a "third shoe."

The Cordish Co. of Baltimore, Maryland, and its partner, Kansas Speedway in Kansas Entertainment, have withdrawn their application to build and run a casino in Kansas Speedway in Wyandotte County.

Kansas Entertainment said the current economic conditions forced it to withdraw its application but said it hoped to resubmit a bid with a phased-in plan.

The withdrawal followed those of both Harrah’s Entertainment Inc. and Penn National Gaming Inc. (PENN) and leaves the state with just one viable casino contract.

Little known Butler National Service Corp. has been approved for a casino and resort in Dodge City, a facility that initially will cost about $88 million. The first phase includes a gaming floor with 875 slot machines and a food service area. It is expected to be operational by October, 2009.

The second phase involving a 124-room hotel and amenities has been scheduled for 2012.

Joseph Weinberg, a Cordish partner, wrote to the Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission, that an "unprecedented crisis and disruption in the global financial and economic markets" made it impossible for the company to go forward with the casino plans.

Kansas Entertainment, Weinberg said, is in a strong financial position to begin work on the casino but wanted to modify its plans to phase in the hotel and non-gambling amenities after the financial recovery.