Penn National Receives Permission to Manage Casino in Cherokee County

On July 23, 2007, Penn National Gaming received the approval of the Cherokee County Commission regarding their plan to operate a state owned casino and hotel in the county.

Commissioner Rodney Edmondson said that this now allows Penn National Gaming to proceed to the next level. Penn National Gaming was the lone gambling organization to submit a proposal to the Cherokee County Commission.

The casino applications must be passed on to the Kansas Lottery Commission by September 6, 2007. The voters in Cherokee County gave their nod of approval on the casino issue on June 5, 2007.

The state owned casino facilities that are located in 4 counties require the consent of the host county’s casino manager. Edmonson commented that he has already seen Penn National Gaming’s Argosy Casino facility located in Riverside Mo., The casino facility also includes a hotel.

Edmondson said that he likes the casino facility. He added that he is now convinced that Penn National Gaming can stand on its commitment to Cherokee County.

Penn National is planning to build a casino and hotel facility worth $250 million in Cherokee County. Penn is planning to name the casino Hollywood Casino-Cherokee County. It would be constructed on 198 acres of land near Highway 166, about 6-10’s a mile from the Interstate 44 exit to Kansas.

The location of the casino is also near Galena and Baxter Springs. The casino will feature 1,500 electronic
casino games and 40 casino table games. Penn’s casino facility will also have an 11 story, 250 room hotel facility and an entertainment and convention facility that can accommodate 1,750 guests.

Commissioner Pat Collins said that they believe that this casino initiative will help a lot of property owners. The county will receive 2% of the gambling profits.

The commissioners also passed the pre-development agreement they have made with Penn National. Penn National agreed to pay for infrastructure work needed for the casino and the expenses for the June 5, 2007. Penn National also cannot ask for any tax cuts or revenue bonds under their agreement with Cherokee County.

VP of government relations, Richard Klemp, commented that he was happy that their proposal was accepted by the community. The Quapaw Indian Tribe of Oklahoma is also planning to construct their Downstream Casino Resort facility near Penn National’s Casino.

A spokesperson for the Quapaw Tribe commented that their tribe was seriously thinking about whether to apply to manage a state owned casino facility in Cherokee County. But Quapaw did not submit a casino proposal to Cherokee County Commissioners.