Kansas Tribal Gaming
In 2004, negotiations to change the compacts between the Kickapoo and Sac & Fox tribes and the state began. In November, the Legislative Coordinating Council declined to act on the compacts. Gov. Kathleen Sebelius continued negotiations with the tribes and came up with a compromise that would have set a limit on the amount of gaming development to be allowed in the future, barred new tribal casinos, and set a limit of no more than 500 slot machines at a pari-mutuel track within a 100-mile radius of an existing tribal casino. Outside the 100-mile limit no more than 1,500 slots would have been permitted at racetracks. Due to an outstanding legal battle with the tribe, the legislature did not approve the proposal.
During the 2005-2006 legislative session, lawmakers in the House and Senate proposed two bills regarding tribal gaming compacts, but both died quickly.
In July 2006, the U.S. District Court ruled that the National Indian Gaming Commission acted improperly when it found that the Wyandottes had no legal right to operate a casino in downtown Kansas City. An April ruling by the 10th District U.S. Court of Appeals found that the state had no jurisdiction to shut down the casino because it is on Indian lands. The most recent ruling dealt with whether the tribe complied with a federal law that bars tribes from placing casinos on lands acquired after 1988. One exception to the law is if the lands were acquired as part of a land-claim settlement, which the tribe said it met because it purchased the lands using money obtained from a settlement case.
In April 2008, U.S. District Judge Richard D. Rogers allowed Kansas to reopen a lawsuit challenging the Wyandotte Nation Casino claiming the money used to purchase the land wasn't allowed to be used for land purchasing and disqualifies the land for use as a casino. The Wyandotte casino opened in January despite the state's claims. The Kansas litigation chief, Mike Leitch, said the state isn't seeking to shut the casino down and their actions would be limited to a courtroom. In September 2008, a federal judge dismissed the state's lawsuit, calling the case moot because of the tribe's sovereign immunity from lawsuits being brought against it. In October 2008, state officials formally appealed the federal judge's order of dismissing the case. The appeal was dismissed that same month.
In January 2009, the Wyandotte Nation applied to have 10.5 acres in Park City put into trust through a land claim settlement. In July 2011, the tribe filed a lawsuit against the Interior Department for not rendering a timely decision. The attempt to force the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) to accept the land into trust failed when the court determined the BIA was taking appropriate measures to review the application.
In June 2008, a smoking ban was approved by Kansas City voters. The law took effect on 1 July 2010, but casinos and racetrack gaming floors are exempt.
In August 2008, the Prairie Band of Potawatomi Nation filed a lawsuit against Harrah's Entertainment for violating a noncompete agreement by pursuing a new casino in Sumner County. Harrah's had operated the Prairie Band Casino for 10 years until July 2007. In September 2010, Harrah's withdrew its bid for the casino project without disclosing any details.
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