Woodlands Dog and Racing Track Plans to Open Slots Facility
On July 1, 2007, the Woodlands Dog and Horse Racing Track announced plans to open a temporary casino facility with as many as 800 electronic slot machines by February, while constructing a permanent casino and restaurant facility, worth $40-$50 million, according to the operators of the racing track.
The Kansas City Racing Track must get state permission, but has scheduled the remodeling of their dog racing track clubhouse by August 2007, according to Jayme La Rocca, the General Manager of the Woodlands Dog and Horse Racing Track.
The voters in Wyandotte County approved the proposal to allow the Woodlands Racing Track to have slot machines and allowing a state managed casino facility in the county. Local permission was needed under the new casino gambling regulation by the state.
The Woodlands Dog and Horse Racing Track permanent casino facility will be constructed to the racing tracks clubhouse for horse racing, on the other side of the 18 year old facility’s parking area, which can accommodate 7,000 vehicles.
The Woodlands Racing Track, which is owned by the Grace Cos. of St. Joseph Mo., and managed by the Kansas Racing LLC, which opened for business in 1989, had profits reaching its highest in 1990 at $197 million.
But the racing track has struggled to make ends meet since the riverboat casino facilities in the state of Missouri opened in 1994, with bets dropping each succeeding year. Bets slid down to $64.4 million last year from $66.5 million in 2005.
The slot machines could reel in an additional $58.4 million annually if they earn $200 daily. While preparations are moving rapidly for a casino facility at the Woodlands Casino and allow gambling at 6 other locations in the state, the legality of the state’s gambling regulation could be put to the test in the court.
State Attorney General, Paul Morrison, has said that he will file a case before the Kansas Supreme Court seeking an immediate decision on the matter, but is waiting for the Kansas Lottery Commission to release their new rules and regulations. The constitution of the state allows gambling through the Kansas state owned lottery only. But different court decisions over the years have decided that the other games of chance also have the same legal definition.