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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