The Kansas Lottery Gaming Facility Review Board has asked Gov. Kathleen Sebelius for a 60-day extension on its deadline to select the operators for four state-owned and operated casinos.
If the governor approves the new schedule, the board said it would decide on operators for the casinos in Cherokee and Sumner counties in August, with the decisions on Ford and Wyandotte counties in September.
Sebelius has agreed to a deadline extension for the Kansas Lottery Commission, which gives it until May 5 to negotiate a contract with operators of the Cherokee County venue and May 17 for the other three casinos.
The Legislature expanded gambling in the state last year with a measure allowing four resort casinos. The Lottery Commission will own the gambling facilities that will be built and operated by private companies under contracts with the state.
The law stipulates that the state will receive at least 22% of net casino annual revenue, with local governments getting 3% of net revenues.
Officials expect to realize more than $200 million a year in gambling revenues when all four casinos are operational.
The gambling measure allocates 1.5% of a casino’s net revenues to the county and 1.5% to the city where it is located, but a revenue sharing arrangement in Wyandotte County will divide the municipal share among Kansas City, Bonner Springs, and Edwardsville.
There are five prospective operators vying for the Wyandotte County concession, four for Sumner County, two for Ford County, and one for the Cherokee County operation.
The gambling law is being challenged in state courts to determine whether the state will actually own and operate the casinos as required by the Kansas constitution. The law was upheld by a state district court in February, with arguments slated before the Kansas Supreme Court on May 14.