TOPEKA, Kan. — A Kansas review board remained troubled Monday because plans for casinos in the Kansas City and Wichita areas don't include hotels in their first phases. But consultants warned that holding out for better proposals would be risky.
Several Lottery Gaming Facility Review Board members questioned whether casinos without hotels are true tourist destinations. A 2007 state law allowing the casinos contemplated "destination" projects and directed the board to pick projects to encourage tourism.
"I think that will be one of the central issues we'll have," board Chairman Matt All said during a break in a daylong hearing.
The board has a single proposal each for Kansas City and the Wichita area and plans to decide in December whether either can go forward. The Kansas Lottery will own the new gambling but contract with private developers to build and operate them.
Last year, the board had multiple proposals for each area and picked a developer for each, only to see them back away from their plans because of the economy. The lottery then reopened the application process.