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Class III gambling may be coming to 7th Street Casino

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September 16, 2008


KANSAS CITY, KS - The 12-year legal challenge by Kansas against the Wyandotte Nation's 7th Street Casino may finally be over. In a 23-page ruling last week, U.S. District Judge Richard D. Rogers wrote, "This case is moot," based on the federal government's sovereign immunity from lawsuits.

If Kansas officials and three of four competing tribes with Kansas casinos decide not to appeal the decision, the Wyandotte will be free to seek a gaming compact with the state. Under the National Indian Gaming Act, the state must negotiate in good faith with the tribe to allow Class III gambling. This will replace the existing 500 Class II bingo-based slot machines with Vegas-style slots and house table games.

"That's always been the ultimate goal, just as the other four (Kansas) tribes have", said tribal second chief Billy Friend. "We've stayed in touch with the governor's office, and we're ready to put the contentions of the past behind us and work toward a compact."

Gov. Kathleen Sebelius has previously agreed to meet with the tribe after all litigation is settled. A spokesman said there would be no comment until the decision to appeal or not appeal has been made.

The 7th Street Casino opened in January after the tribe spent $20 million remodeling an old Masonic temple, which is across the street from City Hall.

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