Kansas Gambling Landscape Changes

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) _ A slumping national economy and potential competition from other states has altered the gambling landscape in Kansas.

And it's an issue as a state board prepares to pick developers for each of four resort casinos.

Two prospective developers have pulled out of the competition for casino contracts. A third's position may leave one area, southeast Kansas, without any proposal.

Also, both racetracks that are allowed to have slots failed to negotiate a deal with the Kansas Lottery. Neither expects to be operating by next month.

State and industry officials say they aren't alarmed because developments reflect decisions made by individual developers for various reasons.

But they say the economy underlies them all.

Meanwhile, a board that will pick developers for state-owned casinos is meeting to hear from consultants.

Those consultants are going over revenue projections for the Lottery Gaming Facility Review Board.

The board is pondering three rival proposals for a casino in Sumner County and a single proposal, from Penn National Gaming Inc., for Cherokee County.

Board members are scheduled to vote next month on a single contract in each county for a casino. The Kansas Lottery will own the new gambling enterprises, but the developers will build and manage the casinos.

The board also plans to hear from the developers themselves during its two-day meeting.

The state authorized one casino in each of four areas last year.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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