Tribes, Governor Reach Accord on Kansas City, Kan., Casino Plan

A proposal to build a tribal casino near the Kansas Speedway area -- and reshape the region's gambling industry in the process -- took clearer shape on Monday. But it still faces legislative and regulatory hurdles in both Kansas and...

The tribes also agreed to abide by state and local building, fire and life safety codes, minimum wage and other worker rights laws. The tribes also agreed to be covered by the Kansas Tort Claims Act.

The agreement also calls for the two tribes' existing casinos on their reservations in northeast Kansas to begin paying 4 percent of gross when the new casino opens. Those casinos then would cease operations as full-scale Class III tribal casinos after seven years.

It was unclear, however, whether the tribes could continue operating those reservation casinos as Class II facilities that, under federal law, could offer bingo and bingo odds-based slot machines.

The tribes' marketing consultant, GVA Marquette Advisors, last year estimated the consortium's proposed 2,500 slots and 60 table games could win $171 million from gamblers its first year of operation, with that figure growing to $198 million by the fifth year.

A study earlier this year by the Kansas Lottery pegged annual casino revenues as high as $288 million a year.

Either way, a significant percentage of the total likely would come from the bottom lines of the four commercial casinos on the Missouri side of the market, which last year grossed $614 million in gambling winnings.

The Proposal, At A Glance:

--$210 million casino and hotel at 118th Street and State Avenue.

--State laws would apply, unusual for a casino on tribal land, but tribes would get a near monopoly on casino gambling on the Kansas side of the metro area.

--12 percent of the casino's first $100 million of gambling revenues would go to the state, and 22 percent after that. The state estimates that could be $40 million in revenue.

--Wyandotte County would get 4.2 percent of the gambling gross for seven years, and 6.5 percent thereafter.

--Approval still needed, and far from guaranteed, from Kansas legislators and federal agencies.