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Green light emerges for new SE Kansas casino - KOAM TV 7

Green light emerges for new SE Kansas casino

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It appears there's a green light now for the construction of a new Southeast Kansas casino.  A Kansas judge dismisses lawsuits by Cherokee County and by an opposing casino developer.

Construction work to build the new $70 million casino, south of Pittsburg, halted shortly after the state awarded Kansas Crossing the winning bid last July.

Both Cherokee County and the developers of Castle Rock Casino filed suit against the state, arguing the Castle Rock proposal in Cherokee County should have been chosen instead because it more closely matched the criteria established by the state.

Now, a Shawnee County district judge has rejected those claims.  Kansas Crossing officials have set a new projected opening date.

"It would probably be one year from today.  And we would hope we could beat that a little bit, but we have to say today, it would be 12 months.  April the 17th," says Bruce Christenson, lead investor and developer of Kansas Crossing.

"We assumed that we would get the ruling we did.  But we thought it was prudent for our lenders and investors to wait until we got this ruling and now we're prepared to go ahead, whether they want to appeal or not.  It's a meritless issue, and they're not going to get anywhere.  So we're prepared to go ahead now," says Christenson.

"We got the ruling we expected, the state process was all done properly.  We recognize that.  We've been through it before.  We're very excited to work with Pittsburg, Crawford County, Cherokee County, and everybody in Southeast Kansas to make this happen," says Christenson.

Cherokee County Commissioner Charles Napier says he intends this coming Monday to motion that the county stop its legal fight against Kansas Crossing Casino.  Napier says this recent court ruling is "the final nail in the coffin."

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