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Kansass Case Against Wyandotte Tribe Dismiss by Judge Richard. D. Rogers

On September 11th, 2008, Kansas's twelve year old legal challenge to the seventh street casino in Kansas City, Kansas, has been dismissed by a federal judge due to technicality again. But this time, the case may finally be done. U.S. District Court Judge Richard D. Rogers said that the case is moot and academic in a twenty three page decision made public that day that turned on the case of the federal government's sovereign immunity from cases filed against it. It was not clear whether state officials and three of the state of Kansas's four competing Indian tribes with casino facilities that joined the state's challenge will appeal.

If the case is cleared of the federal courts, the Oklahoma-based Wyandotte Nation that owns and manages the casino said that they will seek a formal gambling compact with the state under federal law to upgrade gaming at its Kansas gaming facility from the current five hunded Class II bingo-based slot machines to full scale Class III slot machines and casino table games. Tribal second chief Billy Friend said that is always been their main goal just like the four other tribes. He added that they have stayed in touch with the governor's office and they are ready to work together with the state to make a gambling compact.

In the past, Governor Kathleen Sebelius has agreed to talk with the tribe once all litigation is resolved. Friend said that they will likely not see to utilize their federal compact rights as a bargaining tool to construct a bigger casino elsewhere in the county. Friend said that that their main goal is to stay in their current location, offering slot machines and other casino table games. The tribe spent around $20 million remodeling an old Masonic temple across the street from the City Hall and opened it to the public on January.

The first time that Indian tribe opened a gaming parlor on the site-in 2004 inside mobile building units-state and local law enforcement officials raided the facility and closed it down. The tribe then sued and later won a decision that the raid breached the sovereignty of the tribe. The state has unsuccessfully fought the Wyandotte tribe since its first legal action was filed in 1996. But the state has never had a final ruling on its main issue in the case.


05 October 2008
News Submitted by:
Jack Silverman

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