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Kansas gaming regulators formally approve Kansas Crossing Casino - KOAM TV 7

Kansas gaming regulators formally approve Kansas Crossing Casino, work begins at site

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PITTSBURG, KANSAS -

Work has already begun at the site of a new casino in Pittsburg, KS.

Today, Kansas gaming regulators gave formal approval for the Kansas Crossing Casino.

Construction crews began work just hours after the Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission voted to approve the project.

The $70 million casino will be located just north of the Cherokee/Crawford county line, at the junction of Route 400 and US 69, bringing an estimated 300 jobs.

"Jobs, tourists, visitors, the whole thing is just a huge deal for Crawford County and southeast Kansas," said B.J. Harris, executive director of the Crawford County Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Because Kansas Crossing is located in Pittsburg city limits, not only will Cherokee County and Crawford County each receive one percent of gaming revenue each year, but the City of Pittsburg will receive one percent as well.

"We kind of spent our reserves down during the great recession, so we're trying to catch up, probably $1 million behind," said Daron Hall, Pittsburg city manager. "The fact that we're looking at $300-400,000 a year, we could catch up theoretically in three years, rather than having to increase property taxes to catch up."

Kansas Crossing developers have also pledged $10,000 annually for the next ten years for tourism organizations in southeast Kansas, an additional $50,000 a year for tourism at Pittsburg State University's new Bicknell Family Center for the Arts, along with $400,000 a year for the Southeast Kansas Tech Education Center.

"$400,000 to keep the tuition down, and the cost of providing that education to those people that come is really going to make a difference," Hall said.

"That was something that really set them apart as well, their commitment to the area financially," Harris said. "Not just what they were mandated to give, but what they've given above and beyond that."

Preparation work at the site will continue next week.

The project is scheduled to be completed next June.

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