Friday’s opening of the Hollywood Casino at Kansas Speedway may leave some wondering where all the money will go.
The Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kan., estimates the casino may generate more than $200 million in annual revenue. Last week, the Unified Government Board of Commissioners met with Mayor Joe Reardon to review plans for distributing local government’s share of the revenue.
“It’s been a while since we negotiated that agreement,” said Commissioner Ann Brandau-Murguia.
Hollywood Casino is the third state-owned casino to open in Kansas since the state legislature approved four in 2007. In addition to casinos in Dodge City and Mulvane, the state allowed for one more in southeast Kansas that has not been built. A portion of the casino’s revenue will be divided between state and local governments.
Edwin Birch, a spokesman for the Unified Government, said the details of the plan are not final and would be reviewed by the Board of Commissioners again in the spring.
Under the plan, 27 percent of the casino’s net gaming revenues go to the state. Local government would receive as much as 5 percent, with some of that coming from the state’s portion and the rest in direct payments from the casino.
Of the Unified Government’s part, 3 percent would be divided equally between Kansas City, Kan., and Wyandotte County, with Kansas City, Kan., splitting its share with Bonner Springs and Edwardsville.
The Unified Government’s plan includes $500,000 for social services and charitable organizations, $500,000 for school districts and $100,000 for parks and recreation.
School districts including Kansas City, Kan., Turner, Piper, and Bonner Springs-Edwardsville also will receive money under the plan.
The Kansas City, Kan., Convention and Visitors Bureau would receive $25,000, and $10,000 would go to the Wyandotte County Chamber of Commerce.
“It’s a win-win for everyone,” Birch said.
The plan requires that 2 percent of the casino revenues go to a fund for problem gambling and addiction, and it also calls for construction of a 250-room hotel to begin by 2014.