Wednesday, August 1, 2007

The report that wasn't

A story in today's Eagle highlights how much of a gamble it is to vote on gambling. For example, no one knows what type of casino might be built or where it would be. Developers assure us that it will be cool, but, there's not much to guarantee that other than the state's requirement that developers propose at least a $225 million facility. The experts say voters can't expect specific plans since they're expensive to develop for businessmen who don't even know if voters will approve.

That leaves voters to trust in their local governments to support plans that would be good for the area. But the criteria that Wichita and Sedgwick County officials have developed after months of weekly meetings will remain yet another unknown. More than a dozen people involved have promised not to share the report, which, according to a half dozen sources, includes criteria to use when considering casino proposals. It also has a matrix and checklists to apply to would-be casino developments. This, so far as The Hall Monitor can find, is probably the best indicator for what might type of casino the local governments might lobby for. Sources in several local governments say this document probably won't have any headline news in it. But, they say, it does spell out a process for examining developers' ideas and what may be best for the area -- something voters will probably only hear about after the ballots are counted (if at all).

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