- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 28, 2015

PITTSBURG, Kan. (AP) - The Pittsburg City Commission is betting on a proposal for a $62 million casino complex that could bring 300 jobs to the southeast Kansas city.

The commission on Tuesday unanimously supported a proposal from JNB Gaming to build a casino, hotel and restaurant on land recently annexed by the city. Two other groups have announced an interest in building a state-owned casino in the Southeast Kansas Gaming Zone. Those bids are due by Friday.

Officials with JNB Gaming told the commission that its development, Kansas Crossing Casino & Hotel, could generate $1.2 million in revenue a year, which would be divided between the city, Crawford and Cherokee counties. It would be located on Highway 69 on the Crawford-Cherokee county line.

The proposal includes an 18,600-square-foot casino, a 100-room hotel, a 125-seat restaurant and an event center that would accommodate 600 people.

JNB Gaming, then known as Peninsula Gaming, helped develop the Kansas Star Casino near Mulvane in 2012 and the Boot Hill Casino in Dodge City.

Commissioner Patrick O’Bryan said an endorsement from Mulvane City Administrator Kent Hixon encouraged him to support the bid.

Quapaw Tribe’s Downstream Casino and Wichita businessman Phil Ruffin, who owns the Las Vegas Treasure Island Hotel & Casino, have announced plans to jointly open a casino, restaurant and event center in the former Camptown Greyhound Park in Frontenac.

And Castle Rock Casino Resorts, which is owned by several Kansas partners, wants to build a casino, hotel, restaurants and a health club and spa complex in Cherokee County near Downstream’s current resort on the Oklahoma side of the state line.

Kansas has three privately built, state-owned casinos developed under a 2007 law that provided for casinos in four regions. Casinos were built in Dodge City, Mulvane and Kansas City, Kansas, but developers were hesitant to build in southeast Kansas in part because of competition from the Quapaw Tribe’s Downstream casino. To spur development, lawmakers last year reduced the investment required of prospective casino developers to build there from $250 million to $50 million.

Projects approved by the State Lottery Commission will go to a seven-member Lottery Gaming Facility Review Board, which will make the final selection.

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