A three-judge panel of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver late
Wednesday dismissed the state's latest challenge to legalize the Wyandotte-owned
7th Street Casino in Kansas City, Kansas.
The casino is located in the former Masonic temple building at 7th Street and Ann Avenue across from City Hall. The building has been renovated with $20 million in improvements and is nearly ready to open. It will offer about 400 "Class II" electronic games that look and play like slot machines but are technically a variation of bingo.
The court win is expected to be temporary. After 11 years through the legal system, the Circuit Court ruling was based on a technicality. This could open the door for the state to refile and restart the case. The state could also seek a re-hearing before the full appellate court and could appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.
In August 2003, the tribe opened the casino in mobile units parked between the temple and the tribe's historic Huron Cemetery. In 2004 the State Attorney General raided the casino and shut it down. The state seized 152 slot machines and $500,000 cash. Afterwards the casino was never reopened.
The tribe sued state and local officials and later won a ruling that the raid was a breach of its tribal sovereignty.
The state's case is based on its claim that the tribe improperly bought the old Masonic lodge and half-acre tract with federal funds not allowed for such purposes. However, a US district judge rejected that argument, which prompted Kansas to appeal.
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