Mayor Joe Reardon said last week that the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kan., must decide on how to use tax revenues from the new state-authorized Hollywood Casino that opened Feb. 3 in Wyandotte County.

Under Kansas law, 27% of the gambling revenue from the new casino will go to the state, which will retain 22% and allocate another 2% to a gambling addiction control program. The casino gets the rest.

Local governments are to share the remaining 3%, with half of the revenues going to the host county and half to the host city.

Total gambling revenues in the first year are estimated at $200 million.

County officials expect to receive $3.7 million of casino revenues in 2012.

A local agreement reached in 2007 calls for the host city’s share to be divided among Kansas City and the smaller communities of Bonner Springs and Edwardsville.

Reardon said that arrangement helps ensure the three cities got the best possible deal without bidding against each other in the casino site-selection process.

“The idea here was to put the cities in a position of power to get the best applications possible by setting criteria high,” Reardon said. “Regardless what city landed the casino, all cities had a potential to benefit from a portion of the revenue that came into the community.”

The agreement between the county and the casino developer also requires $1.1 million a year in charitable contributions. The distribution will begin in 2013.

The contribution will include $500,000 a year to service organizations, $500,000 among the three local school districts, and $100,000 to the county parks and recreation department.

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